KATHMANDU, Jan 20: President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Friday administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed governors of all seven provinces amid a special function at Shital Niwas, the official residence of the head of state.
The government had recommended Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang, Ratneshwora Lal Kayastha, Anuradha Koirala, Baburam Kunwar, Umakant Jha, Durga Keshar Khanal and Mohanraj Malla as the governors of Provinces 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively. Following the government's recommendation, President Bhandari duly appointed them and administered the oath of office.
Since the constitution has entrusted the governors with administering the oath of office and secrecy to members of the provincial assemblies, the formation of provincial assemblies has been delayed for weeks. Citing the absence of governors, the Election Commission had not publicized the name lists of the provincial assembly members. Immediately after their appointment by the president, the election body on Friday handed over the name lists of those elected to the provincial assemblies under the proportional representation (PR) category in the polls held November 26 and December 7.
Before handing over the poll results to the governors, the EC distributed the certificates to the winning candidates, paving the way for the formation of provincial assemblies and for conducting the upper house elections slated for February 7.
Distribution of the certificates to members of provincial assemblies elected under PR will pave the way for the formation of the provincial assemblies, the upper house elections and finally the handover of power to a new government at the center.
Over a month has elapsed since the parliamentary and provincial assembly elections. But the upper house elections have remained incomplete as the newly elected provincial assembly members, who are among its electorate, could not assume office in the absence of the governors, the ceremonial provincial heads who are to administer oath of office and secrecy to them.
As per the legal provisions, the election body needs to submit the name lists of members elected to the provincial assemblies to the governors within five days after announcing the poll results.
The governors will then administer oath of office and secrecy to the newly elected provincial assembly members. Thereafter, provincial assembly members elected under both first-past-the-post and PR will be eligible to cast votes in the upper house election.
Once a provincial assembly is formed, the chief minister of the province can be elected. Election of the chief minister should be conducted within 20 days of the first meeting of the provincial assembly whereas this first meeting needs to elect the speaker and deputy speaker of the provincial house.
Election to the speaker and deputy speaker of the provincial house should be held within 15 days of the poll results.
The EC has set February 7 as the date for the upper house elections. The parties commanding a majority can form the government on presenting the signatures of the majority at the President's Office.