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Nepal political crisis: NCP’s Prachanda-led faction elects him as new parliamentary leader, replaces PM Oli

The Nepal Communist Party on Wednesday moved a step towards formal split as party’s executive chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ was elected as the ruling party’s new parliamentary leader, replacing Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli.

Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s nomination was proposed by senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, who was earlier named as one of the two chairmen of the party, at a parliamentary party meeting of the Prachanda-led faction at the Parliament Building in New Baneshwar, according to news agency PTI report.

Earlier, NCP Central Committee faction, led by Prachanda, removed PM KP Sharma Oil from the post of chairman on Tuesday and decided to take disciplinary action against him.

After being elected as the new parliamentary leader, Prachanda said that his first priority would be to restore the dissolved House of Representatives and form a new government.

“I will unify all the democratic forces and political parties to keep the hard-won political system and parliament lively and functioning,” Prachanda said.

Prachanda thanked lawmakers for electing him as the parliamentary leader and said that he has been handed over a huge responsibility during this challenging time.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court forwarded all the writ petitions against Prime Minister Oli’s move to dissolve Parliament to a Constitutional bench.

Chief Justice Cholendra SJB Rana’s single bench passed the order after a preliminary hearing on the 12 different writ petitions filed against the dissolution of the House of Representatives, the paper reported.

The Constitutional bench will start the hearing on Friday. The bench is led by Chief Justice Rana and will have four other justices who will be picked by him.

Although the petitioners demanded an interim order against the decision, the apex court has refused to issue any such order.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Prachanda-led faction have told the Election Commission that they hold a two-thirds majority in the party and therefore they must be granted official recognition by the election body, the paper said.

“We are here with the proof that we are the only legitimate Nepal Communist Party,” Leela Mani Pokharel, a standing committee member of the party, was quoted as saying by the paper.

Pokharel said that their faction has a majority with official signatures of 315 central committee members of the party.

To get official recognition from the EC, the faction should have majority members, full details and their signatures along with copies of citizenships.

Nepal on Sunday plunged into a political crisis after Prime Minister Oli got President Bidya Devi Bhandari to dissolve Parliament, a controversial move amidst a prolonged tussle for power between him and former premier Prachanda within the ruling dispensation.

The move came after the intra-party feud reached climax in the ruling party which has been witnessing months long tussle between two factions, one led by Oli and another led by Prachanda.

The ruling party has now been virtually divided more than two years after it was formed following the merger of CPN-UML led by Oli and CPN-Maoist Centre led by Prachanda in May 2018.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | Nepal’s ruling party NCP headed for split as PM Oli forms new general convention committee

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India Today

India Today is a weekly Indian English-language news magazine published by Living Media India Limited. It is the most widely circulated magazine in India, with a readership of close to 8 million. In 2014, India Today launched a new online opinion-orientated site called the DailyO.

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