Why Have Thousands of Protestors Taken to the Streets in Nepal?
Outrage Over ‘Unconstitutional Behaviour’
After Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli dissolved parliament on the 20th of December 2020, protests broke out nationwide as many Nepalese believed that this move was unconstitutional.
Turmoil has defined Nepal’s political landscape for decades. In 2020, the country saw several anti-government protests, with some going as far as asking for the reconstitution of the constitutional monarchy. Oli’s government has been criticised for not achieving its campaign promises and mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic, while it has also faced corruption allegations.
Constitutional monarchy: a government system in which a country is ruled by a monarch, whose rule must follow constitutional law.
Why Oli Made This Decision
By dissolving parliament, Oli prevented a possible vote of no confidence from lawmakers, which may have seen him lose his position as Prime Minister. This decision has been viewed by many as unconstitutional, hence the protests.
Vote of no confidence: a formal vote showing that the majority in a deliberative body do not believe that a leader is fit for their position.
Oli’s move has been challenged by opposition groups and even some members of his own party. This issue has now been brought to the Supreme Court, which has started hearings on petitions challenging Oli’s action. China has also sent officials to Nepal to attempt to resolve the issue.