Houses of parliament begin historic first sessions

Published On: March 6, 2018 06:25 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 6: The historic first sessions of both houses of parliament began Monday by endorsing their respective interim working procedures.

The eldest members Tara Devi Bhatta, 69, and Mahantha Thakur, 75, respectively chaired the first meeting of the first session of the National Assembly (NA) and the House of Representatives (HoR) held at the International Conference Center in New Baneshwar on Monday. The parliament has formally begun its business three months after the parliamentary elections and a month after the upper house elections. 

The federal parliament consists of a 59-member NA and a 275-member HoR. 

The first meetings of the upper house and the lower house appointed lawmakers to conduct their businesses in the absence of the chairman and the speaker. 

CPN-UML lawmaker Parashuram Meghi Gurung, Nepali Congress lawmaker Radheshyam Adhikari and CPN (Maoist Center) lawmaker Kali Bahadur Malla have been appointed to chair the house in the absence of a chairman. 
Similarly, CPN-UML lawmaker Khaga Raj Adhikari, Nepali Congress lawmaker Man Bahadur BK, CPN (Maoist Center) lawmaker Purna Kumari Subedi and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum Nepal (Democratic) lawmaker Uma Shankar Argari have been appointed to chair the lower house in the absence of a speaker. 

A letter sent by President Bidya Devi Bhandari summoning the first session of parliament was read out in the beginning of the first meeting of the federal parliament. 

The next meeting of the federal parliament has been scheduled for 11 am Tuesday. 

On Sunday, three months after the elections, majority of the members of the HoR and NA had taken oath of office and secrecy amid a special function. 

The Parliament Secretariat has announced the schedules for holding the election for the House Speaker on March 10, the prime minister's vote of confidence on March 11 and election of the National Assembly chairperson on March 14. 

Meanwhile, the Election Commission (EC) is holding the election of the president on March 13, while the vice president shall be elected a week after the election of the president, the head of state, as per the constitution. The newly elected president will address a joint meeting of the NA and HoR. The elections for these key positions under the framework of the new constitution marks the full implementation of the constitution promulgated in September 2015.

Nepal had its first bicameral parliament in 1991, after the dissolution of the unicameral parliament of the Panchayat system. 

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