Prime Minister, Kharag Orasad Oli’s determination to cling to power coupled with complete disregard for constitutional norms resulted in the illegal recommendation to dissolve parliament twice in a span of five months, and President Bidya Bhandari accepted the cabinet decision without examining its legal validity which resulted in supreme court’s ruling to set aside it, thereby virtually saving the democracy in this Himalyan Kingdom.
A five member constitutional bench of Supreme Court headed by chief justice, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana delivered a historical verdict to reinstate the parliament and issued a directive to appoint Sher Bahadur Deuba as prime minister who was administered the oath by her after the removal of a technical flaw in the draft of a letter which had delayed the ceremony for few hours.
With this significant development, the current turmoil has ended to some extent though Sher Bahadur Deuba, a leader of three parties' coalition comprising Nepali Congress, CPN(UML) and one faction of Rashtriya Janaty Party will have to seek a vote of trust within 30 days.
India must play significant role to keep China at bay
Some of the former diplomats opine that India should play proactive role to convince Janata Samajbadi Party leaders to support Deuba who has got very good relations with India. Janata Samajbadi Party represents Terai people of Nepal bordering Bihar who were discriminated against when new constitution was implemented in 2015. India had imposed complete blockade to support Terai people's right of citizenship etc/, which shows its commitment and affinity with them.
Deuba faces some big challenges including pathetic mishandling of covid by former prime minister
New PM will face one of the biggest challenges of controlling the current monstrous dimension of Covid cases and government has got no stock of vaccines thereby leaving the infected people to
die. Secondly, Deuba will have to repair the age old ties between two nations which were damaged by former PM Oli who created controversies like redrawing the map thereby showing the Indian
territories in Nepal, raising a strong objection to building of road by India to Kailash Masnsarover etc.
Thirdly, Deuba can not ignore China which has already started a big investment in Nepal and premier Xinping had signed 18 projects having an investment of 200 billion Nepali rupees on Oct 12, 2019 and financial assistance of 56 billion NPR for uplifting standard of living of Nepalis during his maiden visit.
Fourthly, the Supreme Court has also ruled that introduction of the budget for the next fiscal year 2021-22 by the outgoing Prime Minister Oli-led government is inappropriate and against the representative governance system; hence new PM will have to prepare new budgetary proposals.
President did not verify the authenticity of signatures and straightway took biased decision to stop Deuba. President did not to give enough chance to opposition combine of three parties including Nepali Congress, Maoists Centre led by Pushap Kamal Dahal,‘Prachanda’, Janata Samajbadi faction headed by Upendera Yadav besides an open support of Madhav Nepal-Jhala Nath Khanal faction of the CPN-UML which had a mandatory strength to provide an alternate government. These parties under the leadership of Nepali Congress leader and former prime minister, Sher Bahdur Deuba had staked the claim to form new government on May 21 and submitted the 149
signatures of MPs to President who did not accede to their request.
A good omen for India
Notwithstanding the commitment to follow the principle of Machiavelli to achieve the end without bothering means, Nepal prime minister failed to cling to power and his anti India three year era came to unceremonious end on July 12. As per historical fact, Nepali Congress has got a close affinity with India, hence departure of Oli is a good omen which will make it easy to have people to people contact and close coordination between two nations in future
A setback to China
Oli critics alleged that Chinese ambassador to Nepal was working like an extension of the PMO of Nepal and lobbying day and night to save communist government. China had even made last ditch efforts last year and sent defence minister to lobby with Nepal Communist Party (CPN) factions to unitE but in vain as it stakes were very high to needle India through Oli.
Analysts believe that India should play its card cautiously as the ball is in its court especially when new Prime Minister would like to smoothen the ties between two countries which was witnessed during his earlier four terms as head of government.
(K.S.Tomar is political analyst and national columnist)
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.