KATHMANDU, Dec 8: After holding the by-elections successful, the Election Commission (EC) is gearing up to hold election of the National Assembly (NA), the upper house of the bicameral federal parliament, which will soon be bidding farewell to one third of its members in accordance with the constitutional provision.
The two-year tenure of 19 lawmakers of the 59-member strong NA is expiring on March 3. The existing laws mandate election of the upper house members 35 days before the expiry of the tenure of serving members. Eighteen of the vacant seats would be filled up through election, while one member would be appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the cabinet.
The EC has already received request from the federal parliament to start preparation for elections. Last week, the EC held an internal meeting to review the by-elections, and to discuss about making necessary arrangements for the NA election. EC officials said that the election body is preparing to discuss with political parties.
“Internal preparations are underway. The date, however, would be decided after consultation with the government,” said Election Commissioner Ishowri Paudel.
Major political parties are also quietly holding internal negotiations to decide the candidates for the upper house. Last month, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had offered Nepal Communist Party senior leader Bamdev Gautam to be NA member, signaling his possible induction in the cabinet.
PM Oli is also consulting with party leaders over possible replacement for Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada who will also be stepping down after expiry of his two-year tenure. If Oli decides to retain him in the cabinet, Khatiwada will have to be reelected to the NA.
Other NA lawmakers facing the end of their two-year tenure include Sarita Prasain, Surendra Raj Pandey, Haricharan Siwakoti, Ramprit Paswan, Binda Devi Ale, Brishesh Chandra Lal, Badri Prasad Pandey, Balaram Baskota, Mina Buda, Mukta Kumari Yadav, Youtol Tamang, Ramesh Prasad Yadav, Durga Prasad Upadhyay, Dhan Kumari Khatiwada, Kamala Kumari Ale, Kali Bahadur Malla and Khem Raj Nepal. Their tenure was decided through lucky draw.
As per Article 86 (3) of the constitution, only one third (ie 20) of NA members get to serve full term of six years. The remaining one third (20) NA members will be stepping down upon completion of their tenure in four years.