Nepal’s reinstated parliament begins session, Prachanda faction walks out

Wednesday 10th March 2021 05:26 EST

Kathmandu: Nepal’s reinstated lower house of parliament held its first meeting on Sunday during which the lawmakers belonging to the ruling Nepal Communist Party's (NCP) splinter faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ boycotted the session. President Bidya Devi Bhandari last week summoned the session of the House of Representatives in accordance with the supreme court’s February 24 ruling which annulled embattled PM K P Sharma Oli’s “unconstitutional” decision to dissolve it.

Oli, who reached the parliament building to attend the session in the afternoon, left the venue even before the start of the meeting. The lawmakers close to the Prachanda-led faction of the ruling party walked out as the House meeting was under way.

Main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) and Janata Samabadi Party (JSP) lawmakers demanded the withdrawal of the controversial ordinance on the Constitutional Council, prompting the speaker to put off the session until March 10. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday. Oli, in a surprise move, dissolved parliament on December 20 last year, amidst a tussle for power with Prachanda.

The ruling NCP split over Oli’s move to dissolve the 275-member House. In a landmark ruling last month, the apex court reinstated the lower house of parliament. The CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Prachanda merged in May 2018 to form a unified Nepal Communist Party following victory of their alliance in the 2017 general elections.

Meanwhile, the apex court quashed the unification of the erstwhile Communist Party of Nepal led by Oli and the Communist Party of Nepal led by ‘Prachanda’, in a blow to the two warring leaders. A bench of the apex court issued the verdict giving authenticity of the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to Rishiram Kattel, who had registered the party at the Election Commission in his name prior to the formation of NCP led by Oli and Prachanda. Kattel had challenged the Election Commission’s decision in May 2018.

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