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Has the constitution failed?

By Our Reporter
Now when the Nepali Congress and CPN Maoist Centre are preparing to oust Prime Minister K P. Oli through the no-trust motion they have registered in the Legislature Parliament Prime Minister K. P. Oli is claiming that he will remain in power until January 2018 stating that the constitution does not allow formation of new government until the holding of general elections.
Prime Minister Oli reiterated his stance to remain in power until Magh 2074 on Monday, a day after he consulted with lawyers close to his party. Interestingly, the lawyers have also been divided regarding the constitutional provision to form two or more governments in the transitional phase. The lawyers close to the ruling CPN-UML have been claiming that the constitution has no provision to form the new government while the lawyers close to NC have been saying that the new government  could be formed on the basis of Article 298, the same article on whose basis  the present government was formed.
Interpreting the constitution on the basis of party loyalty is not a new practice in Nepal. The lawyers and the political parties this time are also doing the same thing. Moreover, the lawyers close to UML are instigating Prime Minister Oli not to step down until the constitution is amended. The same lawyers are also reportedly preparing to file a writ in the Supreme Court terming the no-trust motion as unlawful and claiming that the present government cannot be replaced with new ones unless the constitution is amended.
However, UML leaders like Pradeep Gyawali have said that the Prime Minister will not remain in the high post seconds after the parliament endorses the no-trust motion. PM Oli himself has said that he has no plan to dissolve the parliament. But UML vice chair Bhim Rawal said that the present government could not be replaced without amending the constitution.
“I will not dissolve the parliament and create a vacuum,” PM Oli was quoted. He had   termed the parliament as a playground and claimed he would not destroy the playground.
Prime Minister Oli also urged Maoist Centre chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal and NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba on Monday to make amendment to the constitution so that a new government can be formed. However, Deuba outright rejected the proposal.  The two leaders had reached Baluwatar upon receiving an invitation from PM Oli to discuss the latest political development. During the meeting on Monday PM Oli also criticized Speaker Onsari Gharti for halting the House procedures.
If the lawmakers of the CPN-Maoist and the NC do not cross floor during the voting process, Oli is sure to lose his majority in the parliament as the NC, Maoist and the Madhes-based parties have over 315 lawmakers in the 595-member house.
However, it looks uncertain regarding the political course after the approval of the no-trust motion.  The government will collapse but the process to form the new government  might be obstructed with some filing a writ in the Supreme Court and others claiming that the move to form the government is unconstitutional. As such, the Oli government will remain as a caretaker government for months as the government led by Madhav Kumar Nepal in 2010. It is unfortunate that the political parties are moving on the path of failing the new constitution while there is an urgent need for its effective implementation.

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