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‘Constitutional coup’: Nepal crisis in top court – world news

Opponents of KP Sharma Oli turned to Nepal’s Supreme Court on Monday to challenge his dissolution of parliament, denouncing it as a “constitutional coup” even as the prime minister defended his move, insisting he was forced to seek a fresh mandate through elections as the rift within the ruling Nepal Communist Party was severely affecting his government’s functioning.

Supreme Court spokesman Bhadrakali Pokharel said three petitions against the dissolution were “in the process of being registered”.

“Under the constitution, the prime minister has no prerogative to dissolve parliament,” lawyer Dinesh Tripathi, one of the petitioners, told Reuters. “It’s a constitutional coup. I’m seeking a stay order from the court.”

Oli on Sunday sprang a surprise on his rivals and got the President to dissolve parliament, a controversial move amid a prolonged tussle for power between him and former premier Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ within the ruling dispensation.

In an address to the nation on Monday, Oli said he was forced to dissolve parliament after he learnt about a plan to move a vote of no-confidence against him. Oli, who is also one of the two chairmen of the ruling party, said that the intraparty rift in the ruling Nepal Communist Party severely affected the government’s functioning.“The elected government was pushed to a corner and picketed against and was not allowed to work so I decided to dissolve the house.”

Experts say if the court registers the petitions it could take about two weeks for a decision.

Oli said his government had done well in terms of safeguarding the country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. “I was victimised for enhancing national pride by publishing a map with the inclusion of Kalapani and Lipulekh,” Oli added.

In June, Oli claimed efforts were being made to oust him after his government redrew the country’s political map by incorporating three strategically key Indian territories. India had termed as “untenable” the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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