KATHMANDU, March 5: With the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) unable to fill one of the 19 National Assembly seats, 18 newly-elected upper house members attended the parliament meeting on Wednesday.
Out of the 19 vacant positions, 18 were filled through election on January 23. But one seat to be filled through presidential appointment remains vacant as the cabinet has yet to recommend a name to the president. Although the ruling party had decided to nominate its leader Bamdev Gautam for the upper house seat, Prime Minister Oli has ignored the decision and got himself admitted to the hospital Monday for a kidney transplant without nominating Gautam.
The term of Yubaraj Khatiwada, who was appointed by the president as upper house member two years ago, expired Tuesday along with other one-third members of the upper house.
NCP spokesman Narayan Kaji Shrestha, after attending his first meeting of the upper house, said that former NCP Vice Chairperson Gautam will be appointed to the upper house very soon. Shrestha himself was elected to the upper house from the Gandaki province.
“He (Gautam) couldn't attend today's meeting because his recommendation is awaiting cabinet's approval,” said Shrestha. “NCP secretariat meeting has already decided to recommend Gautam to the upper house in the presence of prime minister himself. The decision will be implemented,” he said.
After taking oath of office from National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Parsad Timilsina, the newly-elected members participated in the upper house meeting in the afternoon. At the meeting, Timilsina, NCP parliamentary party leader Dinanath Sharma, NC leader Anita Devkota and Pramila Kumari of Samajbadi Party welcomed the new members of the upper house. Addressing the House on behalf of new members, NCP's Shrestha and Shekhar Singh of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) insisted for effective democratic practices from the upper house.