HoR Speaker election today

Published On: January 19, 2023 08:10 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

UML’s Ghimire and NC’s Neupane vying for the post

KATHMANDU, Jan 19:The election to pick the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR), the lower house of the federal parliament, is being held on Thursday.

According to the Federal Parliament Secretariat, lawmaker Devraj Ghimire of the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Ishwari Neupane have filed their candidacies for the post of Speaker. The election to pick a new HoR Speaker is scheduled for Thursday.

While former HoR Speaker and UML Senior Vice Chairman Subash Chandra Nembang proposed the name of Ghimire, chief whip of CPN (Maoist Center) Hit Raj Pandey, chairman of Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) Rabi Lamichhane and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Chairman Rajendra Lingden seconded the proposal of Ghimire’s candidacy.

Similarly, NC General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma proposed the candidacy of Neupane, and Prakash Jwala of the CPN (Unified Socialist) seconded her candidacy. A candidate must secure 138 votes in parliament to get elected as the HoR Speaker through majority votes in parliament.

UML lawmaker Ghimire has the support of UML, Maoist Center, the RSP and the RPP. While UML has 79 lawmakers, Maoist Center, RSS and RPP have 32, 20 and 14 lawmakers, respectively. As Ghimire will receive a total of 145 votes from the ruling coalition partners, he is most likely to get elected as the new HoR Speaker.

A total of 169 lawmakers had extended their support to the appointment of Pushpa Kamal Dahal as the prime minister. But as some parties have distanced themselves from the ruling alliance, Ghimire is less likely to secure the same number of votes.

Dissatisfied with the allocation of the ministerial portfolios in the recent cabinet expansion, Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP) has decided not to send any ministers from the party to the cabinet. The JSP has a total of 12 lawmakers. Similarly, the Janamat Party, which has six lawmakers, is less likely to vote in favor of Ghimire. These two parties had earlier extended support to Prime Minister Dahal.

Sources said Nagarik Unmukti Party (NUP), which earlier was a part of the ruling alliance, is also in a dilemma whether to support the ruling alliance candidate Ghimire during the election in parliament. The party has three lawmakers in the House of Representatives.

Despite this, NC candidate Neupane appears short of the requisite majority votes in parliament to get elected as the HoR Speaker. The NC has a total of 89 lawmakers. But as one lawmaker Tek Bahadur Gurung is under suspension, only 88 lawmakers of the party will be taking part in the voting process on Thursday.

The CPN (Unified Socialist), which has a total of 10 lawmakers, will vote in favor of Neupane. It is not clear whether the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party, which has four lawmakers in the federal parliament, will vote in favor of Neupane. People’s Front Nepal and Nepal Workers’ and Peasants Party, which have one lawmaker each, have not publicized their decision whether they will vote in favor of Neupane. NC candidate Neupane will get only 123 votes even if the lawmakers of JSP, Janamat Party and other disgruntled parties chose to vote for her in parliament.

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