Constitutional experts say president betrayed constitution

A recent incident of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari ‘mediating’ a compromise between Nepal Communist Party (NCP) co-chairmen — Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal — has raised questions about the president’s neutrality as envisioned by the constitution. At the same time, Oli and Dahal have also been criticised for unnecessarily dragging the president into controversy breaching constitutional limits.

Just ahead of finalising Cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, Oli and Dahal had met the president reportedly to seek her mediation and to become a witness to a power-sharing deal between the top two NCP leaders. Neither the president’s office nor any of the NCP leaders have refuted the reports.

Party insiders say NCP co-chairmen, amid a long-standing trust deficit, just wanted to ensure that the deal is concrete through the president’s endorsement.

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