Nepal’s supreme court on Tuesday overturned the prime minister’s decision to dissolve parliament, terming the move unconstitutional.
In December Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli abruptly dismissed the House of Representatives and accused members of his Nepal Communist Party of being uncooperative. He called for elections in April and May.
More than a dozen writs were filed in the Supreme Court challenging his decision, while a wave of protests and clashes took place in the streets.
“The Supreme Court has ordered to reinstate the dissolved House of Representatives after concluding that the government’s decision was unconstitutional and against parliamentary practises,” Kishor Poudel, the press expert at the Supreme Court, told AFP.
Poudel said the court had ordered a session of parliament within 13 days.
The court’s decision was welcomed by the opposition as well as members of the dissident faction of Oli’s own party.
Narayan Kaji Shrestha, spokesman for the faction, said the court has “protected the spirit of democracy”.
“The prime minister should resign on moral grounds taking responsibility for his unconstitutional attempt. Otherwise, we will take the necessary decision from the parliament,” Shrestha said.
The Oli government came to power in 2018 with a two-thirds majority, aiming to end years of instability and short-lived governments made worse by a devastating earthquake in 2015.
The dissolution of parliament came after months of clashes with former Maoist rebel leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who helped Oli come to power when their parties merged in 2018.
An unofficial split in the party has now left Oli without a majority in parliament, and he is likely to face a no-confidence vote.