Sher Bahadur Deuba sworn in as PM of Nepal for the 5th time

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President Bidya Devi Bhandari gave the oath of office to Deuba on Tuesday 13th July. Deuba, 75, was sworn in as Prime Minister for the fifth time.

His oath came a day after the country’s Supreme Court overturned the dissolution of the House of Representatives and asked that Deuba must be appointed as a PM. Deuba, 75, is currently a President of the Nepali Congress.

In its order on Monday, a five-member Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court said that Deuba must be appointed the Prime Minister as per Article 76(5) of the Constitution, according to which any member of the House who presents a ground on which they can gain a vote of confidence in the House to get appointed as PM.

Former Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli called the Supreme Court order to appoint Deuba as improper. He said that a PM is not appointed by a Supreme court anywhere in the world.

However, the swearing-in ceremony was delayed by hours due to a dispute between Deuba and the President’s office about the content of the letter of appointment.

 “The President appointed Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister as per the Supreme court verdict on Monday).” a statement issued by President Bhandari’s office had initially said, according to media reports.

But Bhandari was later forced to give another letter in which the relevant article of the Constitution under which the appointment was made. The second letter came after Deuba said that he would not take the office’s oath without the change in the initial letter.

It took more than three hours for this issue to be sorted. Bhandari had meetings with the top political leaders supporting Deuba’s candidature like Madhav Nepal, Baburam Bhattarai, Upendra Yadav and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ regarding the issue. Guests were also waiting at the venue of the swearing-in ceremony.

Raman Shrestha, a former attorney-general, said that the omission of the relevant article in the letter of appointment was a deliberate move to clarify that the President was appointing Sher Bahadur Deuba. 

The final letter of appointment says that Deuba was being appointed PM under Article 76(5) of the Constitution, which makes it compulsory for him to secure a vote of confidence in the House within 30 days of taking an oath.

Four other ministers: Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, Balkrishna Khand of the Nepali Congress, Janardan Sharma and Pampha Bhusal of the Communist Party of Nepal, were inducted into the government.

Why was Nepal Lower House dissolved twice?

According to reports, the two alliance partners had agreed to equally share the prime minister’s seat, by which Oli would continue as the PM while Prachanda will lead the alliance. However, Dahal and his supporters accused Oli of not standing on his commitments, which makes them remove the PM.

Under pressure from Prachanda, Oli dissolved the Parliament in December 2020. However, Nepal’s Supreme Court overruled the movement this February and ordered reinstatement and a vote of confidence.

Oli lost the confidence vote in May; after this, he again recommended to Nepal President Bhandari that Parliament be dissolved, and President duly ordered it.

Why Sher Bahadur Deuba faces a tough road ahead?

Deuba is required to prove a vote of confidence from the House within 30 days of his appointment as the PM as per the constitutional provisions. This is where the trouble begins.

Although the apex court’s order has paved the way for Deuba to become a new prime minister, Deuba will have to secure majority votes in Parliament to survive as the PM for the remaining term of the 275-member House.

How are Sher Bahadur Deuba’s ties with India?

According to The Kathmandu Post, Deuba had said that India did not directly advise on anything particular but urged to take into confidence the disgruntled forces so that the Constitution will not be opposed in future. India, too may favour Deuba in the hot seat. India needs Deuba to counter China, while Deuba needs India’s support for the party and development.

“Kalapani is our territory, and Lipulek is a point where the territories of Nepal, India and China converge. I wonder what has stopped Prime Minister Oli from holding talks with India.”

Source: PTI, First Post

Anirudha Yerunkar
Anirudha Yerunkar
Postgraduate in Multimedia from IIJNM, Bangalore. Covered stories on health, business, migrant workers and the impact of Covid19 on various sections of society. Interested in reading and writing. I like to follow and research politics and current news. Interested to find what will happen with the human race and where will it go after the Pandemic. Keen to learn and understand anthropology. Also, like to listen to all genre of music but especially like classical and folk music. Writing articles and poetry is my passion. Following national and international literature and various scientific groups is my hobby. Travelled across India and ready to explore more.

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