Newly-elected lawmakers take oath in Nepal


As many as 12 parties have representatives in the 275-strong lower house, but none has garnered a majority of seats….reports Asian Lite News

Most of the newly elected members of the House of Representatives in Nepal took the oath of office on Thursday.

Pashupati Shamsher Rana from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party administered the oath of office and secrecy to 257 lawmakers as the eldest member of the lower house. As many as 17 lawmakers were absent due to various reasons, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Those who were absent today will receive the oath later,” Rojnath Pandey, spokesperson for the federal parliament secretariat, told the news agency.

Eighty-one-year-old Rana was sworn in by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday.

As many as 12 parties have representatives in the 275-strong lower house, but none has garnered a majority of seats.

Rana is acting as the speaker until a new speaker is elected within 15 days after the first session is called as per the constitution of Nepal.

The major parties have been negotiating over the formation of a new coalition government, and President Bhandari has set Dec. 25 as the deadline.

As per the final vote counting results, the five-party ruling coalition under the leadership of the Nepali Congress has secured 136 seats against 138 required to prove a majority in the 275-member House of Representatives.

A political party which achieves a simple majority (means 138 seats in parliament) can form a government under its leadership.

With a hung parliament, the ruling coalition is struggling to gain more seats in parliament. Leaders of the coalition have expedited in-door talks with fringe parties including Chandra Kanta Raut’s Janamat Party and Resham Chaudhary’s Nagarik Unmukti Party.

The two new parties, which have six seats and three seats in parliament respectively, will be the kingmakers in the formation of the new government.

The current alliance includes the Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre), the CPN (Unified Socialist), the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, and the Rastriya Janamorcha.  The alliance, on Monday, decided to continue the existing government and finalize the crucial power-sharing deal as early as possible.

Shakti Basnet, a leader of the ruling CPN (Maoist), said that they are holding in-door negotiations to finalize the modality of power-sharing among the ruling parties.

According to Basnet, the partners in the existing coalition share plum posts such as Prime Minister, President and Speaker of parliament.

“Modalities are being worked out to finalise power-sharing among the ruling parties. If the biggest party in the ruling coalition gets the post of prime minister, the second largest will obviously get the post of president and the third largest will get Speaker of parliament. This way, we will settle the matter,” he told in a recent interview.

On the other hand, the opposition alliance led by Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), has secured 104 seats in parliament. It lacks the required majority to form the government. The alliance has Janata Samajbadi Party and the Kamal Thapal-led Rastriya Prajatantra Party as its members. Even if this alliance backed by new parties including Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP), it won’t be able to secure the required majority in the House.

Based on the vote share, the EC allocated the 110 PR seats of parliament among the political parties who crossed a three-percent threshold as per the existing laws, according to authorities.

“Seats under the PR category have been allotted on the vote share of the seven parties crossing the threshold,” Surya Prasad Aryal, an assistant spokesperson for the commission told India Narrative on Wednesday afternoon.

Altogether, 12 political parties have won elections thus they will have their presence in parliament. Of the twelve, seven have gained the ‘national party’ status by crossing a three-percent threshold, according to the commission.

Congress becomes single largest party

The Congress has emerged as the single largest party with 89 seats as the counting of votes under the proportional representation (PR) category concluded on Tuesday.

As per the seat allocation made by the EC under the PR category, the NC bagged 32 seats. Earlier, the party won 57 seats of the lower house under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category. Combined, the party has managed to secure 89 seats in parliament.

The KP Sharma Oli-led Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), the main opposition party, will have a total strength of 78 seats in the lower house of parliament, to become the second largest party. The UML won 44 seats under the FPTP category while it obtained 34 seats under the PR category.

The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Center), a key partner in the incumbent Sher Bahadur Deuba-led coalition government, has ranked a distant third with 32 seats in parliament. The party led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a two-time prime minister and a former rebel leader, has obtained 14 seats under the PR category. Earlier, the party won 18 seats under the FPTP category. (with inputs from India Narrative)

Kiran Kumar Sah takes oath in Sanskrit

Kiran Kumar Sah, an MP from Nepal, created history this month after taking an oath in the Sanskrit language, Online Khabar has reported.

There is no record of taking an oath in Sanskrit before this, the Nepali publication reported citing the Federal Parliament Secretariat. This is the first time in the parliamentary history of Nepal that someone took the oath in the Sanskrit language. “I have read a few other books in the Sanskrit language. But we want the Sanskrit language to be taught in Nepal”, Kiran Kumar Sah told Online Khabar after the oath.

On reasons for taking oath in Sanskrit, Sah said he wanted, “To save the traditions of Nepal, to save the national unity and integrity by reducing the pressure and influence of foreign languages.”

The Nepali MP said that the Sanskrit language is regarded as the mother language of all the languages spoken in Nepal. “I took an oath in Sanskrit to raise the heads of three crore Nepalis with self-respect and identity,” he added.

Sah complained about how earlier Sanskrit language was compulsory in education but English took place of Sanskrit, Online Khabar reported. He vowed to bring policy change to the Nepali parliament.

Mentioning that the Sanskrit language gives knowledge not only of religion but also of morality, he also talked about the “deviation” in Nepali culture.

Sah, who won from Rautahat constituency 2, also expressed concern about the growing influence of the English language in Nepal. (ANI)

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