The Supreme Court decision ends two months of competition for ever-larger and expensive rallies on the streets as a show of force by both sides in what were seen as efforts to put pressure on the Constitutional Bench.
Dahal was in Chitwan for another such demonstration on Wednesday, but announced that it would now be a victory rally.
“This is a victory for the constitution and democracy and the rule of law,” Dahal told a gathering as he heard news of the Supreme Court decision with his ally Madhav Kumar Nepal. “It is a defeat of counter-revolutionary forces.”
Oli himself appeared to have indications about the apex court’s decision this weekend when he said he believed the court would not reverse his House dissolution decision, but that he would abide by whatever the Court ruled.
On Tuesday morning, he convened a meeting of the Security Council at Baluwatar, and after the decision came in the evening, he was huddled in a meeting with his ministers and advisers.
Oli is not expected to resign, but will try to rally support for a confidence vote when Parliament reconvenes in the coming week. The Dahal faction of the NCP has said it will not be satisfied with him stepping down, and that he will have to be punished for making an unconstitutional move.
Even if Oli steps down, or loses a confidence vote in Parliament, it may just be the beginning of more political turmoil ahead as the House will then have to decide on forming a new government and finding a new prime minister.
With the NCP as good as split, the horse-trading will be fierce as both sides try to muster the majority necessary to form a new government. With 60 seats in Parliament, the Nepali Congress will find that it has kingmaker power disproportionate to its strength in the House.
But for the moment, most analysts agree that with its decision the Supreme Court has re-established the independence of the judiciary and supremacy of the Constitution. The Bench unanimously decided that Oli had behaved in an unconstitutional manner by dissolving the House and calling for premature polls.
Said advocate Tikaram Bhattarai: “The Supreme Court has brought Nepali politics back on the constitutional tracks, it is a historical decision that now sets a precedent for the future.”