Nepal’s Election Commission postpones November’s parliamentary poll after Supreme Court reinstates dissolved House

The apex court overturned embattled PM Oli’s decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered the appointment of Opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister.

Nepal’s Election Commission on Tuesday postponed the parliamentary election scheduled for November 12 and 19 in the country following the reinstatement of the House of Representatives by the Supreme Court.

The apex court on Monday overturned embattled Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli’s May 21 decision to dissolve the House of Representatives and ordered the appointment of Opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba as Prime Minister.

The election scheduled for November following the dissolution of the House of Representatives will not be held immediately as the Parliament has been reinstated, Election Commission spokesperson Raj Kumar Shrestha said.

At the recommendation of Mr. Oli, President Bidya Bhandari dissolved the lower house for the second time in five months on May 22 and announced snap elections on November 12 and November 19. As many as 30 petitions were filed at the Supreme Court against the move.

“After the Supreme Court’s decision, there was no need to move ahead with the election preparations,” Mr. Shrestha was quoted as saying by MyRepublica news website.

“The commission will hold a meeting and postpone the preparations,” he said.

According to the EC, although it has yet to receive written information about the decision from the Supreme Court, it has postponed the process on the basis of Monday’s information, the report said.

Mr. Shrestha said the Commission has made some preparations for the election but not much money has been spent on it. The finance ministry had earlier approved the budget for the election and the commission had approved the financial procedure for it.

The Election Commission earlier this month announced the schedule for the upcoming midterm polls with the election process starting from July 15.

Nepal plunged into a political crisis on December 20 last year after President Bhandari dissolved the House and announced fresh elections on April 30 and May 10 at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli, amidst a tussle for power within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

In February, the apex court reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives, in a setback to Prime Minister Oli who was preparing for snap polls.

Mr. Oli repeatedly defended his move to dissolve the House of Representatives, saying some leaders of his party were attempting to form a “parallel government”.

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