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Surendra Raj Pandey to be sworn in Today

May 29, 2024
Surendra Raj Pandey

Surendra Raj Pandey, leader of the Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party in Gandaki Province, is poised to be sworn in as Chief Minister today. This follows a landmark Supreme Court ruling that overturned the previous vote of confidence for Khagraj Adhikari, leader of the UML party.

The Court, in a judgment by Justices Kumar Regmi and Sunil Kumar Pokharel, deemed Adhikari’s vote of confidence unconstitutional. Citing Article 168 (3) of the Constitution, they mandated Pandey’s appointment within 48 hours as the leader of the largest party in the provincial assembly.

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The controversy stemmed from a vote held on May 5th. Speaker Krishna Dhital declared Adhikari successful, calculating the majority based on the 30 members present in the assembly at the time. This included 22 UML members, 7 Maoists, and 1 independent.

However, the Supreme Court disagreed. Their ruling stated that a majority requires at least 31 votes, based on the total number of 60 assembly members, not just those present. This disqualified Adhikari and paved the way for Pandey’s appointment.

The Gandaki Provincial Assembly comprises 60 members: 27 from the Nepali Congress, 22 from the UML, 8 Maoists (including the speaker), 2 from the RPP, and 1 independent. Pandey had challenged the vote of confidence through a writ petition filed on May 7th.

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