Thousands march against Nepal PM's dissolution of Parliament

The protests were one of the most intense Nepal has witnessed so far. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

KATHMANDU (REUTERS) - Thousands of opponents of Nepal's Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli marched through the streets of Kathmandu on Tuesday (Dec 29) urging him to reverse his decision to dissolve Parliament and call for early elections.

The protesters, who say his decision on Dec 20 was unconstitutional, rallied outside his office despite coronavirus curbs on gatherings.

Mr Oli says internal squabbling and a lack of cooperation from his party have paralysed decision-making, forcing him to seek a new popular mandate.

Police officials overseeing security said at least 10,000 people were on the streets to participate in the march, one of the most intense protests the country has witnessed since Mr Oli dissolved Parliament.

"We have tactfully managed the rally of about 10,000 protesters," said police spokesman Basanta Bahadur Kunwar.

The country's top court will in January continue hearing dozens of petitions filed against Mr Oli's political move and his plans to press ahead with parliamentary elections next year on April 30 and May 10, less than two years before the scheduled date.

"The Prime Minister has no authority to dissolve the Parliament under the Constitution. Therefore, he should reverse his decision immediately," said 19-year-old student Rajesh Thapa, waving a flag with a red hammer and sickle printed on it, a symbol of the ruling communist party.

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