Sher Bahadur Deuba, the newly-appointed prime minister of Nepal, refused to take his oath after he spotted a ‘mistake’. Deuba demanded a correction in his appointment letter, which had apparently not mentioned the constitutional clause under which he had been appointed.
The swearing-in ceremony was initially set to be held at 6:00 PM (17:45 IST).
After receiving some legal counsel, Deuba sent across a message to President Bidya Devi Bhandari that he will not take the oath until the error is rectified, the paper said.
Earlier on 13 July, Bhandari issued a notice appointing the 75-year-old Opposition leader as the prime minister in line with the ruling issued by the Supreme Court on Monday. A five-member constitutional bench led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, in its order, had said that Deuba must be appointed the Prime Minister in line with Article 76 (5) of the Constitution of Nepal.
However, the president’s office didn’t disclose the article under which Deuba is being made the prime minister of Nepal in the notice.
Previously, Deuba served as Nepal’s prime minister four times from June 2017–February 2018, June 2004–February 2005, July 2001–October 2002 and September 1995–March 1997. Deuba is required to seek a vote of confidence from the House within 30 days of his appointment as Nepal prime minister, as per the constitutional provisions.
Deuba was appointed by President Bidya Devi Bhandari in accordance with Article 76(5) of the constitution, according to reports, a day after the country’s Supreme Court overturned former Nepal prime minister KP Sharma Oli’s 21 May decision to dissolve the House of Representatives. Oli resigned from the post of Nepal’s caretaker prime minister earlier in the day. “Will abide by the Supreme Court orders,” Oli said as he sent his resignation letter.
The five-member constitutional bench, led by Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, said that Oli’s claim to the post of prime minister was unconstitutional. Reacting to the development, geopolitical affairs commentator Brahma Chellaney wrote on Facebook, “Nepal’s pro-China communist prime minister, … Oli, (had) undermined the independence of the country’s institutions and stacked them with his own loyalists. But he failed to subvert the Supreme Court, which today ended his Machiavellian power grab by ordering that he be replaced as prime minister by the leader of the opposition.”