Nepal’s Supreme Court Appoints New PM and Restores Parliament

Setback for former Nepal PM KPS Oli as the country's top court appoints opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba as new Prime Minister.  (Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg)

Nepal’s Supreme Court Appoints New PM and Restores Parliament

Nepal’s highest court reinstated the country’s parliament and appointed opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba its new prime minister Monday, in a setback to K.P. Sharma Oli who has struggled to hold his government together since he lost a vote of confidence and dissolved the lower house in May.

The 75-year-old Deuba, who has served as Nepal’s prime minister on four previous occasions -- the last from 2017-2018, is to be appointed by 5 p.m. on Tuesday The Kathmandu Post reported citing Supreme Court spokesman Bhadrakali Pokhrel.

Nepal’s Supreme Court Appoints New PM and Restores Parliament

The court had upheld the country’s constitution in a far-reaching judgment, said Rajit Rae, a former Indian ambassador to Nepal. “This is a set back to Oli and clearly voices within his party that have criticized him as being autocratic will grow louder.”

Oli had aligned Nepal’s policies with China in mid-2020 and revived a border dispute with India, accusing New Delhi of building a road that encroached on its territory. Deuba’s Nepali Congress Party has in the past been sensitive to India’s concerns when it was in power, Rae said.

The ruling overturns President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s decision to dissolve the parliament’s lower house on the recommendation of Oli, and could end months of political uncertainty in the Himalayan state.

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