Nepal in limbo as rival camps speed up legal consultations

Kathmandu, July 17 (IANS) Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, set to face a no-confidence motion in Parliament on Thursday, on Sunday continued consultations with legal and constitutional experts in a bid to save his now minority government while new-found allies CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress, too, asserted the constitutionality of their claim.

The CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress, joint sponsors of the no-trust move against Prime Minister Oli, maintained that a new government “can be formed as per Article 298 of the Constitution of Nepal”.

However, Oli, too, has taken refuge under the same article and refused to step down despite his coalition government having been reduced to a minority after the Maoists on Tuesday withdrew crucial support to him.

Oli, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxists-Leninists) chief, told his lawmakers that “constitutional complexities” would prevent the formation of new government, Kathmandu Post reported on Sunday.

However, constitutional expert Surya Dhungel said on Saturday that a new government “can be” formed as per due parliamentary process.

“The president will first give seven days to form a national consensus government, and if that does not happen, the process to form a majority government will start.”

Experts here said there were some ambiguities in clause 1 of Article 298, “but the succeeding clauses have made unequivocal references to formation of new government”.

Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” lambasted Oli for going against the constitutional provisions.

He claimed that Oli, in cahoots with royalist forces, was conspiring to end historical achievements of the democratic movement.

NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba said the constitution has clearly envisioned the provision of formation of a new government before the General Elections.

–IANS

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