The ruling Nepal Communist Party led by rebel leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal expelled Prime Minister K.P. Oli from the Nepal Communist Party on Sunday. The decision divided the party into two groups and sparked a dispute over the party symbol but the Election Commission has declined to recognise either faction as the official party.
The deepening crisis emerged weeks after Mr. Oli dissolved the Lower house, Pratinidhi Sabha, of Parliament on December 20 which was strongly opposed by Mr. Parchanda and Mr. Nepal who wanted the House to be restored. Soon after the dissolution of the Pratinidhi Sabha, Mr. Oli had created a committee of his supporters which indicated that he would launch a takeover of the party in case of an adversarial action by the rebel leaders.
Mr. Nepal and Mr. Prachanda have in recent weeks alleged that Mr. Oli has acted in a dictatorial manner and that he has “gone too far”. The main faction led by the rebels had gone to the Election Commissioner immediately after the dissolution of the Pratinidhi Sabha seeking recognition as the official party. However, following Sunday’s developments, both factions reached out to Chief election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya.
Some sources have learned that Mr. Thapaliya will not accord the status to either faction.
The situation is being described as an intense constitutional crisis at the Caretaker Prime Minister is left without any party affiliation because of the EC’s decision. Mr. Oli had declared that elections would be held in April-May, but in the current situation, a lot will depend on the Election Commission and the Supreme Court which is examining the writ petitions filed against the dissolution of the Lower House.