KATHMANDU, Mar 4: The National Assembly is set to welcome 18 new members from Wednesday. They were elected to the upper house in January.
The new members of the upper house are scheduled to take their oath of office from National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina on the same day prior to joining their first House meeting slated at noon. The 59-member upper house bid farewell to one-third of its lawmakers on Tuesday.
Those leaving the upper house urged parliament to raise the issues of the people while delivering their farewell speeches at the meeting on Tuesday. After the meeting, they took a group picture with the other upper house members.
The terms of one-third of the upper house members expires every two years, according to the constitutional provisions. Out of the 59 members, 19 were given two-year terms while 20 others have four-year terms and the remaining 20 have six-year terms. The terms were decided by a drawing of lots two years ago. The newly-elected upper house members will have full six-year terms.
The ruling NCP swept the upper house polls in January, winning 16 out of 18 seats, while Rastriya Janata Party Nepal won the remaining two seats, from Province 2.
Gopi Achhami, Indira Gautam and Devendra Dahal of NCP are scheduled to join the upper house from Wednesday, representing Province 1.
Similarly, Radheshyam Paswan and Tulasa Dahal of NCP and Mrigendra Singh Yadav and Shekhar Singh of RJPN are also taking their oaths as upper house members.
Ganga Belbase and Beduram Bhusal from Bagmati province, former minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Bhagwati Neupane from Gandaki Province, and Gopal Bhattarai, Jag Prasad Sharma and Bimala Ghimire from Province 5 are joining the NA for the first time.
Among the newly-elected upper house members, Maya Prasad Sharma and Sumitra BC are from Karnali Province and Taraman Swar and Sharada Bhatta are from Sudur Paschim.
The NCP now has 49 seats in the upper house, including two appointed by the president, while the Nepali Congress has six, RJPN has two and Samajbadi Party one. The president is yet to appoint one member to replace Yubaraj Khatiwada, who retired on Tuesday after completing his two-year term.
Among the 19 outgoing members, nine were from the NCP, seven from Nepali Congress, two from Rastriya Janata Party and one from Samajbadi Party. The NC lost all seven seats in the upper house in the election held on January 23.