Hearing on House dissolution: PM Oli can stake a claim for PM post as per Article 76 (5), argues ex-Attorney General Kharel

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NL Today

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Kathmandu: Former attorney general Agni Kharel has argued that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli can stake a claim to the post of the Prime Minister as per Article 76 (5) of the Constitution.

While pleading from the government (defendant)’s side at the constitutional bench on the HoR dissolution case today, senior advocate Kharel, argued that the party whip could be issued in exercising the article 76 (5) as well. He argued that in a parliamentary system the parliamentarians of another party cannot support the next party member to elect the PM.

Senior advocate Kharel further claimed that the SC cannot issue a mandamus order against the President as per the demand of writ petitioners. He also said that the reinstated Parliament could not form a new government adding that the chance was given to form a new government as per article 76 (2) after the PM failed to get a vote of confidence but it did nothing towards electing the new PM.

Responding to the queries of chief justice Rana on the clarity on the difference between Article 76 (5) and 76 (2), advocate Kharel argued that Article 76 (2) is for a political party and there is a political party related law on Article 76 (5) as well, therefore, the party whip is attracted to this article as well.

To another query from the Chief Justice what if Court issued the order and President denied the court order, Advocate Kharel replied that the President was not mentioned as a defendant in the writ petitions.

The hearing on the case is underway at the Constitutional Bench led by chief justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana and comprising justices Deepak Kumar Karki, Mira Khadka, Ishwor Prasad Khatiwada, and Dr Ananda Mohan Bhattarai.

Thirty writs were filed against the dissolution of the House of Representatives. On May 22, President Bidya Devi Bhandari had, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, dissolved the House of Representatives and fixed November 12 and 19 as the date for a mid-term election.

The writs seek to declare the President’s this decision as unconstitutional and illegal and reinstatement of the House of Representatives.