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Protesters hit streets in Nepal after PM Oli dissolves Parliament

Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Sunday dissolved the country’s lower house of Parliament on the recommendations of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and announced mid-term general election in April-May. The controversial move triggered protests in the national capital, calling the PM’s decision for early election a constitutional coup.

Several leaders from Nepal Communist party and Opposition Nepali Congress party staged demonstrations, slamming the move as unconstitutional and demanding PM Oli’s immediate resignation.The series of petitions have also been filed before the Supreme Court within the hours of the House dissolution.

The protesters shouted slogans against the President and the Prime Minister on the streets of Nepal capital city. PM Oli, meanwhile held an emergency meeting with the National Security Council and gave strict instructions to maintain law and order.

Amid prolonged tussle for power between PM Oli and NCP co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, the decision of disbandment of the House of Representative was taken at an emergency Cabinet meeting on Sunday morning. 

The next general election which was due in 2022 was also pushed ahead.The first and second phase of the mid-term election will be held on April 30 and May 10 respectively, according to a notice issued by the President’s office.

Following the dissolution seven of cabinet-rank ministers resigned, calling the dissolution unconstitutional and undemocratic act. The senior NCP leaders said the dissolution will spark expulsions and counter-expulsions in the party possibly by split. 

Prime Minister will pay the price for taking this controversial move, said former prime minister Jhalnath Khanal. While PM Oli’s colleague Bamdev Gautam said the decision deserves all condemnation.

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On December 15, an ordinance was introduced to amend the Constitutional Council Act , which allegedly undermined the principle of checks and balances. It is being reported that PM Oil was under pressure to withdraw an ordinance. The cabinet meeting held yesterday was also expected to replace the ordinance.   

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