KATHMANDU, Dec 12: The government has announced to hold the National Assembly elections on January 23, 2020.
The spokesperson of the government Gokul Prasad Baskota made the announcement during a press briefing held at Singha Durbar on Thursday.
The two-year tenure of 19 lawmakers of the 59-member strong NA is expiring on March 3. The existing laws mandate the 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 the election, while one member would be appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the cabinet.
The election body has already received a request from the federal parliament to start preparations for elections.
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.