Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba has claimed that submitting signatures of lawmakers of other parties to stake claim for the post of prime minister (PM) as per Article 76(5) of the Constitution is not non-party exercise.
"This is not a non-party exercise. This is in accordance to the article of Constitution," Deuba said virtually addressing a program on the occasion of 31st anniversary of Nepal Press Union on Thursday.
A total of 26 lawmakers of ruling CPN-UML had signed in support of Deuba. UML leaders have been arguing that endorsing support of UML lawmakers for a candidate of another party when UML parliamentary party leader is also contesting for the post would be exercise of non-party system.
"Those who say it is non-party should read Article 76(5) of the Constitution which says that any lawmaker can be appointed PM by the president if the lawmaker presents grounds for getting majority."
NC President Deuba had reached the Shital Niwas with list of 149 House of Representatives (HoR) members including 26 lawmakers from the Khanal-Nepal faction of UML, 12 of the Yadav-Bhattarai faction of JSP and one from Rashtriya Janamorcha Friday afternoon staking claim for formation of government.
He lamented that President Bhandari rejected his claims without verifying whether he has support of the majority of lawmakers or not. "President could instead have verified. She could have summoned the lawmakers. But she dissolved the House in the night. A person like president has blatantly violated the Constitution merely on recommendation of the PM."
Oli had reached the Shital Niwas before Deuba and staked claim for the government falsely claiming that he has support of 153 lawmakers including 121 CPN-UML lawmakers and 32 of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) just a day after telling President Bhandari to go for formation of new government in accordance to Article 76(5) of the Constitution pointing he does not have numbers to pass the floor test.
Oli had repeated that he did not opt for floor test as he does not have majority during his press conference with editors of media outlets that was broadcast live across the country less than a couple of hours before staking claim with President Bhandari saying he has support of 153 lawmakers.
But President Bhandari did not appoint Deuba as the PM pointing at the false claims of Oli.
Issuing a notice just before midnight, she reasoned that Oli cannot be appointed PM as 26 lawmakers of CPN-UML and 12 of Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) that he included in his claim to contend that he has support of 153 House of Representatives (HoR) members have signed in support of Deuba.
She, meanwhile, argued that Deuba cannot be appointed as UML Chairman and parliamentary party leader Oli wrote to not recognize signatures of 26 UML lawmakers who have supported another candidate when one's own parliamentary party leader has staked claim and will be punished for indiscipline in a way that they will not even remain HoR member, and JSP Chairman Mahantha Thakur and parliamentary party leader Rajendra Mahato also wrote to not recognize signatures of 12 JSP lawmakers saying they have signed against the dignity of the party.
Calling an emergency Cabinet meeting just minutes after President Bhandari said that none of Oli and Deuba can be appointed the next PM, Oli recommended President Bhandari to dissolve the House and hold the election in two stages on November 12 and 19.
President Bhandari then issued a statement in the wee hours of Saturday to dissolve the House and announce the next election as per recommendation of the Cabinet.
A total of 146 lawmakers have since moved the Supreme Court (SC) demanding the House be reinstated and Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba be appointed PM as per Article 76(5) of the Constitution.