Koirala wrong in saying constitution has set two-term limit for prime minister

Injina Panthi / August 27, 2020

Nepali Congress leader Shekhar Koirala speaking on Prime Times Television this week. Photo: YouTube grab

Speaking on the Janata Janna Chanchhan talk show on Prime Times Television aired on August 24, Shekhar Koirala, a central committee member of the main opposition Nepali Congress, discussed the domestic political situation including the government efforts against COVID-19 and the political wrangling in his party. 

Koirala, who is being seen as a major challenger to party president Sher Bahadur Deuba in the next general convention of the party, said if elected he would propose among other things limiting the party presidency to one term.

When the talk show host Rishi Dhamala asked Koirala about term limit for prime minister, Koirala said, “For prime ministers, one five-year term will be enough, although the [Nepali] constitution itself has provisioned a two-term limit I think.” [Go to 45 mins 55 seconds in the video]

South Asia Check has fact-checked Koirala’s statement about term limit for prime minister.  

Part 7 of the Constitution of Nepal has provisions about the federal executive. From Article 76 to 81, there are provisions about eligibility for prime minister and procedures for choosing a prime minister. Clause 1 of Article 76 states: “The president shall appoint the leader of parliamentary party that commands majority in House of Representatives as Prime Minister.” And Clause 2 of the same article states: “In cases where no party has a clear majority in the house of representative under clause (1), the President shall appoint as the Prime Minister a member of House of Representatives who can command majority with the support of two or more parties representing to the House of Representatives.”

The constitution is silent on how many terms a prime minister can serve. But for the president, the constitution has fixed a two-term limit. Therefore Koirala’s saying that the constitution has imposed two-term limit for prime minister is false. 

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