Opposition cries Constitutional coup in Nepal after dissolution of Parliament

Published: December 21,2020 09:34 AM

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December 21, 2020: Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kathmandu on Sunday denouncing the latest move of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to dissolve the House and call an early election.

December 21, 2020: Hundreds of people took to the streets of Kathmandu on Sunday afternoon denouncing the latest move of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to dissolve the House and call an early election as a constitutional coup.

Protestors chanted slogans against KP Sharma Oli and President Bidhya Devi Bhandari for proposing and ratifying the proposal to dissolve parliament and call a fresh election for next year. They termed the move as "a Constitutional Coup" and demanded both the state and executive head of the nation not to go ahead.

"This is undemocratic and undemocratic step. We protested against wrong steps taken by the king in past; now in present an elected person or the public's choice again is falling back on the foot to create chaos," Eliza Dhakal, one of the protestors, told ANI.

Cadres from factions of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, Opposition Nepali Congress and their student wings took to the streets of Kathmandu denouncing the move of Prime Minister Oli and demanded subsequent resignation.

Claiming it to be betrayal against people's mandate and country, they expressed their dissatisfaction over the early election call.

"Nepali people earlier have given a mandate of 5 years to this government. It's just been 3 years. This house had a lifeline of additional 2 years which it should have worked, after which the election should have been conducted. The ball is now in the court of the Supreme Court. I don't think it would be favoured by the judiciary as there is no such provision or rights mentioned in the constitution which can't be implemented," Keshari Gautam, another protestor from Kathmandu said.

Similar kinds of protests were organised at various cities around the nation including Pokhara, Butwal, Biratnagar and Nepalgunj on Sunday after the President approved the proposal of the Prime Minister to dissolve the parliament and call an early election.

Soon after the major turn in Nepali politics and rising demonstration against the government, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Sunday evening held multiple rounds of meetings and discussions.

Oli met the Chief Election Commissioner along with other officials at the latter's residence and requested them to take preparations forward to hold polls in two phases.

Later, Oli held a meeting with chiefs of all security forces to discuss security arrangements across the country. Sensing possible violence following his decision to dissolve the House of Representatives (HOR), Prime Minister Oli directed all security forces to stay on high alert.

"The Prime Minister discussed the changed situation in the country with all the security chiefs and has given necessary instructions," Surya Thapa, press advisor to PM Oli said.

The meeting came in the wake of mass protests that erupted in various parts of the country including in the capital city Kathmandu on Sunday. Those taking to the streets termed the Prime Minister's move "unconstitutional" and demanded the withdrawal of the unconstitutional decision.

As the political tension started mounting in the country following his controversial move, Prime Minister Oli called for an emergency meeting with the chiefs of all the security agencies - Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Intelligence Department

Hours after Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari ratified the proposal of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for the dissolution of Parliament and announced dates for an election, seven Cabinet Ministers have submitted their resignations.

The seven Ministers who have submitted their resignations are -- Barsha Man Pun, Minister for Energy, Shakti Basnet, Minister for Forest and Soil Conservation, Giriraj Mani Pokharel, Minister for Education, Rameshwar Ray Yadav, Minister for Labour, Bina Magar, Minister for Drinking Water, Ghana Shyam Bhusal, Minister for Agriculture and Yogesh Bhattarai, Minister for Tourism.