Prez Bhandari calls new session of reinstated House for Sunday

President Bidya Devi Bhandari has called the new session of Parliament — the reinstated House of Representatives as well as the National Assembly — on Sunday, July 18.

“Meeting of both, the reinstated House of Representatives (HoR) and National Assembly has been called for Sunday at 4:00 pm by the President,” read a press statement issued by Keshav Prasad Ghimire, assistant spokesperson at the President’s office.

Ghimire said that the meeting was called in line with Article 93 (1) of the Constitution as per the recommendation made by the Council of Ministers on Thursday.

The Supreme Court on July 12 reinstated the parliament, which was dissolved by the then caretaker Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in May, and ordered that his rival Sher Bahadur Deuba be appointed as prime minister.

The move dealt a major blow to Oli, who was unable to muster a majority in the House of Representatives and had sought to force a fresh election by dissolving parliament on May 22.

Oli’s move had sparked a fresh constitutional crisis in the country and it marked his second attempt to dissolve parliament in recent months after an initial attempt in December 2020, following a split in his party, was reversed by the Supreme Court in February.

After Nepal’s parliament had been reconstituted, Oli lost a confidence vote on May 10.

Before his rivals could stake a claim however, he advised President Bhandari to dissolve parliament, saying neither he nor opposition leader Deuba were able to muster a majority and form a new government.

The opposition decried the move and challenged it in court. On July 12, the Supreme Court ordered parliament be reconvened within seven days.

Speaking to journalists after the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki said they had decided to recommend President Bhandari to summon the House session as per the apex court’s orders.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet meeting also decided to extend the term of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and Commission for Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP), Nepal, and its officials by a year, according to Minister Karki, who is also the government spokesperson.

CIEDP is a five-member Commission led by Yuba Raj Subedi as chairperson and TRC is led by Chairperson Ganesh Dutta Bhatta with the same number of members. The term of the two Commissions was to expire from July 15, according to Dr. Gangadhar Adhikari, one of the members of CIEDP.