KATHMANDU, Dec 13: The government has announced election to elect the 18 National Assembly members for January 23, 2020.
A cabinet meeting earlier this month fixed the election date upon the recommendation of the Election Commission, said government spokesman Gokul Prasad Baskota on Thursday. The two-year tenure of 19 lawmakers of the 59-member NA is expiring on March 3 next year. The existing laws state that the election of the upper house members must be held 35 days before the expiry of the tenure of the serving members.
Eighteen of the vacant seats would be filled through the election, while one member would be appointed by the president upon the recommendation of the cabinet.
Major political parties are also quietly holding internal negotiations to decide their candidates for the upper house. Last month, Prime Minister KP Oli had offered Nepal Communist Party senior leader Bamdev Gautam to become NA member, signaling his possible induction in the cabinet.
Prime Minister Oli is also consulting his party leaders on possible replacement of Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada, an upper house member whose term is also expiring in March. If Oli decides to retain Khatiwada as finance minister, NCP will need to re-elected him to the upper house.
Other NA lawmakers whose terms are expiring in March include Sarita Prasain, Surendra Raj Pandey, Haricharan Shiwakoti, Ramprit Paswan, Binda Devi Ale, Brishesh Chandra Lal, Badri Prasad Pandey, Balaram Baskota, Mina Budha, 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 the NA members get to serve full term of six years. The remaining one third (20) NA members will be stepping down upon the completion of their four-year terms.