Freedom Forum along with social activists, human rights activists, journalists, professionals and civil society organizations signed a joint statement- Defend Democracy and Constitution in Nepal on May 25, 2021. The signatories have called on political parties, members of parliament, civil society, professionals, constitutional experts, lawyers, health professionals, academicians, media and other concerned groups to jointly protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional move of the Prime Minister and the President for their recent move to dissolve House of Representatives which is undemocratic and unconstitutional.

The statement reads:-

Joint Statement
Social Activists, Human Rights Activists, Journalists, Professionals and Civil Society Organizations
25 May 2021

The world is severely affected from the COVID 19 pandemic. New variants of the virus appearing in the second wave are deemed more lethal and high-speed spread, which has caused so much pain in the country. Citizens are compelled to lose their lives due to inadequate supply of oxygen and unavailability of hospital beds, and absence of timely medical attention. The medical system of the country remains ineffective to respond to COVID 19 at the moment. Unfortunately, the Government has not been able to manage vaccines for all. In this crisis, three-tier Governments, political parties, and entire state mechanisms must focus their actions towards health security of the people, protect their lives from infection, and assure the relief support for the survival of deprived populations.

In this circumstance, we are deeply concerned about the dissolution of the House of Representative decided by the President upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Instead of giving attention on treatment of patients, effective control of the COVID 19, and emerging social and economic problems, the Federal Government has been involved in unconstitutional and undemocratic moves.

As one of the key partners of the democratic movement, we have been closely observing the moves of the Government and political parties. It is our conclusion that recent moves of the Federal Government have posed threats to the Constitution and the historical achievements gained through the sacrifice of the peoples and people’s movements, including democratic polity, republic state, federalism, secularism, fundamental rights and inclusion. We condemn the repeated actions of the government that encroaches the Constitution.

In addition, the recent moves of the President are explicitly a violation of the Constitution and against the aspiration of the people and the verdict of the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court dated on February 23, 2021. Furthermore, it is against the spirit of popular democratic norms and values.

The Prime Minister appointed as per the Article 76 (3) is mandated to face the Vote of Confidence of the House of Representative within 30 days of the appointment. The direct invocation of article 76 (5), skipping article 76 (4), is indeed unconstitutional. It is our conclusion that the decision of the President’s Office for the dissolution of the House of Representative on the basis of self-presumption, while its members of the Opposition Parties were claiming to form the new government, is absolutely undemocratic and unconstitutional.

We call on political parties, members of parliament, civil society, professionals, constitutional experts, lawyers, health professionals, academicians, media and other concerned groups to jointly protest against the undemocratic and unconstitutional move of the Prime Minister and the President. The joint efforts against the Government’s move are essential to protect the democratic values, including constitutional supremacy, rule of law, freedom of expression, right to information, and civil and political rights at this juncture.

During this critical period of the health crisis, we urge the Government to manage vaccines as soon as possible, provide free treatment service to all COVID 19 patients, and protect the lives of poor, marginalized and of those living in vulnerable conditions.

Finally, we urge the Supreme Court to take optimum efforts to safeguard the Constitution, prevail the rule of law, and guarantee constitutional supremacy in the country.

Kapil Shrestha, Senior Human Rights Activist
Charan Prasai, Accountability Watch Committee
Bipul Pokharel, Federation of Nepalese Journalists
Dr. Gopal Krishna Siwakoti, INHURED International
Sushila Shrestha, Beyond Beijing Committee
Taranath Dahal, Freedom Forum
Shantalal Mulmi, Senior Social Worker
Bhawani Kharel, National Human Rights Foundation
Shovakar Budhathoki, Human Rights Activist
Kedar Khadka, GOGO Foundation
Shanta Laxmi Shrestha, Women Rights Activist
Pradip Pokharel, General Election Observation Committee
Surya Bahadur Thapa, Disaster Management National Network
Basudev Neupane, NGO Federation of Nepal (Former President) & Samuhik Abhiyan Nepal
Indra Prasad Aryal, Human Rights for Justice
Baburam Giri, Civil Rights Association of Nepal
Ganesh BK, Rastriya Dalit Network
Naren Khatiwada, Youth Advocacy Nepal
Ganesh Kumar Mandal, Madeshi Civil Society
Rajendra Aryal, Federation of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Users Nepal
Bishnu Pukar Shrestha, CAHURAST Nepal
Bhakta Bishwokarma, Dalit NGOs Federation
Subash Khatiwada, Community Radio Activist
Anjana Shakya, Women Rights Activist
Saru Joshi, Women Rights Activist
Narendra Joshi, SAP Nepal
Prof. Dr. Kesab Raj Khadka, Right to Food National Network
Dr. Binjwala Shrestha, Public Health Expert
Rajan Kuikel, Human Rights Activist and Journalist
Dr. Prakash Bhattarai, Civil Rights Activist
Shambhu Prasad Dulal, National Federation of Irrigation Water User’s Association Nepal
Dr. Chiranjivi Bhattarai, Nepal Human Rights Organization
Kunda Sharma, Women for Human Rights
Birkha Bahadur Shahi, Natural Resource Rights Activist
Suni Lama, National Indigenous Nationalities Women Forum
Krishna Gautam, Human Rights Activist
Sudarson Subedi, Disability Right Activist
Devika Timilsina, INHIRICON Nepal
Mr. Hukum Pokharel, CAHURAST Nepal
Tanka Aryal, Human Rights Activist
Min Basnet, Social Activist
Daya Sagar Shrestha, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Bhola Bhattarai, Civil Rights Activist
Pinky Gurung, Blue Diamond Society
Tara Bhandari, Samudayik Sarathi
Roshana Khadka, COCAP Nepal and Support Nepal
Dillu Prasad Ghimire, Nepal Climate Change Federation
Dr. Sundar Thapa, Freedom for All
Baidhyanath Chaudhari, Ratyuli Youth Club, Mahottari
Tulashi Devkota, National Forum for Advocacy Nepal
Sitaram Ghale Pariyar, Global Alliance Against Untouchability
Ram Rohan Pant, Global Peace Foundation
Prakash Nath Yogi, National Association of PLHA in Nepal
Karna Nepal, Human Rights Activist
Khagendra Oli, Human Rights Activist
Dipak Soni, Grassroots Development Foundation
Sujan Ghale, Human Rights Activist
Manisha Dhakal, Gender and Sexual Minorities Federation Nepal
Mahendra Yadav, Nepal Trade Union Congress
Bina Silwal, Kopila Nepal
Ram Prasad Chaudhari, Partnership Forestry Federation Nepal
Abhaya Joshi, SCOPE Nepal
Mahendra Laxmi Sharma, Freelancer
Ishwori BK, Dalit Welfare Organization
Pratima Gurung, National Indigenous Nationalities Disable Women Association Nepal
Trilok Chand Biswash, Nepal Rastriya Dalit Society Welfare Association
Bishnu Pokharel, JURI Nepal
Laxmi Gurung, Indigenous Women Group Nepal
Sanju Singh Biswokarma, Dalit Welfare Organization Nepal
Buddhasaran Lama, Yuba Sewa Samaj Makawanpur
Anish Shrestha, Youth For Environment Education and Development
Sundar Bahadur Seni, International Law and Public Policy Society
Ganesh Dhami, Human Rights Activist
Diwakar Upreti, Youth Rights Activist
Dharma Raj Joshi, Land Governance Working Group
Binaya Kaki, Human Rights Activist
Mahendra Thapa, Human Rights Activist
Indra Bhattarai, Afanta Nepal
Rana Bahadur Karki, Garib Tatha Dalit Uthhan Sewa Samiti Dolpa
Urmila Bishwokarma, Mahila Sashaktikaran Kendra, Dolpa
Sanjog Thakur, Hami Dajubhai
Aaj Bahadur Shahi, Social Activist
Bikash GC, Youth Human Rights Activist
Manoj Gyawali, Youth Human Rights Activist
Chandra Prasad Thani, Forest and Environment Workers Association Nepal
Laxmi Rai, Social Activist
Ansu Gurung, Social Activist
Urmila Shrestha, TEWA Nepal
Dipesh Ghimire, Social Activist
Pariwartan Koirala, Social Activist
Tom Prasad Sapkota, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Prem Bahadur Shahi, Samudayik Bikash Kendra, Mugu
Balmaya Bisworkarma, Juri Nepal
Rita Manandhar, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Tak Bahadur Tamang, Network for Development of Indigenous Nationalities
Sabitri Khadka, Social Activist
Bimala Sapkota, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Birandra Ray, Social Activist
Keshav Prasad Sapota, Bijay Development and Resource Centre, Gaindakot
Trilochan Sapkota, Bijay Development and Resource Centre, Gaindakot
Suman Khadka, Yuba Abhiyan Nepal
Urmila Singkhada, Freelancer
Rajan Bishwkarma, Nepal Dalit Mahila Uthhan Kendra, Kathmandu
Ishowr Raj Pant, Human Rights Activist
Satish Mainali, Social Activist
Devu Parajuli, Social Activist
Saroj Dillu Bishwkarma, Social Activist
Gokul Sapkota, Social Activist
Naresh Kumar Shrestha, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Goma Paudel, Social Activist
Laxmi Chaudhari, Social Activist
Pushtak Chand, Gramin Yuba Sarokar Kenda, Rukum West
Keshav Badi (Nepali), Human Rights Activist
Mukunda Neupane, Social Activist
Nanda Bastola, Social Activist
Nitra Bahadur Deuja, Social Activist
Pampha Purkoti, Social Activist
Prakash Wagle, Social Activist
Pratima Rana Magar, Social Activist
Rana Thebe, Social Activist
Roshan Chikanbajar, NAFAN Nepal
Sabu Poudel, Social Abhiyanta
Santosh Rana, Social Activist
Harka Bahadur Oli, Social Activist, Bajura
Seteman Tamang, Social Activist
Uma Thapaliya, National Campaign for Sustainable Development Nepal
Bishnu Kunwar, Social Activist
Satish Raj, Social Activist
Bharat Bhatta, Social Activist