Chairman of Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”. (File Photo)
KATHMANDU: Chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” has demanded immediate withdrawal of the Constitutional Council Amendment Ordinance.
Prachanda’s statement comes soon after President Bidhya Devi Bhandari issued an ordinance on the Constitutional Council (Work, Duties, Rights, and Procedures).
According to the President’s Office, President Bhandari issued the ordinance on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers in accordance with Article 114 (1) of the Constitution.
Prachanda termed the Ordinance as “unconstitutional” that has come with a vengeance.
“It has to be immediately withdrawn,” he said raising concern over the issuance of the ordinance at a time when the Parliament was not functioning.
Prachanda said the ordinance has come without consulting with the party.
The NCP has undergone a serious crisis for several months now with Prachanda and PM Oli rigid to their respective stances.
Prachanda’s faction — backed by senior leaders Madhav Kumar Nepal, Jhala Nath Khanal, NCP Vice Chairman Bamdev Gautam and Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha, has been alleging PM Oli of failing to abide by the party decisions.
The disgruntled faction has been demanding PM Oli’s resignation while both Chairmen – Oli and Prachanda – are engaged in allegations against one another.
The Constitutional Council chaired by the Prime Minister has the leader of the main opposition party, Chief Justice, Speaker, Chairman of the National Assembly, and the Deputy Speaker as members.
After the issuance of the ordinance, the meeting can be held if the majority of members of the Constitutional Council are present.
Earlier, the quorum for the meeting was considered to be reached only when the council Chairperson and four members were present.
Among the members of the council, the post of deputy speaker is currently vacant. In this case, the quorum for the meeting would have been reached only if all the other members were present.
Earlier, the meeting of the council was postponed after Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota abstained from the meeting.
The CC meeting was adjourned for 5 pm today after the required quorum was not present in the meeting, said Baluwatar sources.
Main opposition party leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, Chief Justice Cholendrea Shumsher Rana, and National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Timalsina reached Baluwatar. But Speaker Sapkota did not attend the meeting.
Prime Minister KP Oli had called the CC meeting at Baluwatar this morning.
Earlier, the meeting which was scheduled for Sunday was also postponed after main opposition party leader President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota did not turn up in the meeting.
The latest move of Prime Minister Oli is an indication of heightened differences between him and Nepal Communist Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” faction.
Sources claimed that Speaker Sapkota only “executed” the instruction of Prachanda by not attending Tuesday’s meeting of the Constitutional Council.
This, as the source said, will worsen the situation further.