Nepal PM Oli addresses huge rally, defends dissolution of Parliament
Kathmandu, Feb 05: Supporters of Nepal's embattled Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Friday held a massive rally here in a show of strength, a day after his rival Pushpa Kamal Dahal ''Prachanda'' organised an anti-government general strike, escalating the rivalry between the top leaders of the ruling communist party.
Thousands of his supporters, waving red Communist flags and chanting slogans like "We love KP Oli", "Oli is our hero", "Oli for the prime minister" marched from different parts of Nepal and gathered at the heart of Kathmandu.
The Oli faction's show of force was part of its bid to counter other protests and demonstrations organised by the rival group led by Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal against the prime minister''s controversial decision to dissolve Parliament on December 20 and hold new elections on April 30 and May 10.
Defending his move to dissolve Parliament, Oli said some leaders tried to obstruct the functioning of his government and he had no other alternative other than seeking a fresh mandate.
"As some leaders tried to make Parliament defunct and obstruct the government's functioning, I was compelled to go for the fresh mandate. Such a situation was created in which the government was unable to move forward, which prompted us to go for elections," he said.
Oli also claimed that his faction of the party was the original Communist Party of Nepal (NCP).
The ruling NCP has split over Oli's call for a new Parliament to be elected more than a year ahead of schedule.
Both Oli and the rival group claim to control the Nepal Communist Party and the issue is being disputed at the Election Commission. The rival faction even announced that it had ousted Oli from the party at a meeting last month.
Prime Minister Oli also ruled out any possibility of reviving monarchy in the country.
Addressing the mass gathering organised by his faction of the ruling NCP, Oli assured his supporters that he was not in favour of reinstating monarchy in Nepal, dismissing the rumors in some political circles.
"No one can snatch democratic system from our country," he said.
Oli said the country will move forward implementing a federal and republic system in Nepal.
Nepal's President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved Parliament at the recommendation of Prime Minister Oli on December 20 and announced mid-term general election in April-May.
The move came as the intra-party feud reached a climax in the ruling NCP which has been witnessing months-long tussle between two factions, one led by 68-year-old Oli and Party's chairman and another led by 66-year-old "Prachanda", also the executive chair of the party and former premier.