Agni Sapkota elected Speaker of Nepal’s Parliament

Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 26 January 2020) – Leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Agni Prasad Sapkota has been elected the Speaker of the House of Representatives recently. Senior most member of the HoR, Mahantha Thakur, announced in the HoR meeting that as the candidacy of Sapkota was not contested by others, he was declared Speaker unopposed as per the HoR Regulation, 2075. In the meeting today, deputy leader of the parliamentary party of the ruling NCP, Subash Nembang, proposed Sapkota with the belief that he would work in a transparent and responsible manner by taking parliament in confidence. Sapkota was a right candidate of Speaker because there were no other candidacies filed to contest him.

The proposal was backed by party’s Chief Whip Dev Prasad Gurung, party leader and former Speaker Onsari Gharti and Rastriya Janata Party’s Laxman Lal Karna. Commenting over the single candidacy of Sapkota for the Speaker post, former Speaker Gharti said it reflected the situation of an atmosphere of consensus, indicating a more favourable time head to complete the remaining task of the peace process and deal with the national affairs. She went on to say, “The figure with a three-decade experience in teaching procession had his role in the people’s war and peace process was the right candidate for the post.” According to her, he has the experiences of serving as a lawmaker and a minister as well and is an honest and dedicated leader in the Nepali politics. She hoped he would be able to operate the HoR successfully with his neutral, balanced and pro-people image. Moreover, leader of the major opposition party Nepali Congress (NC), Dr Minendra Rijal, commented that since the ruling party Nepal Communist Party had enough majority and the Speaker ought to be neutral in case the NCP had fixed its candidate for the same post, the parliamentary party’s meeting of NC had decided not to field its candidate for the same post. Clarifying that the NC did not field its candidacy to claim its stake on the Deputy Speaker post, Rijal said, “The ruling party will take into account the constitutional provisions that the Speaker and Deputy Speakers be elected from the differing parties.

NC however is not begging for the post of Deputy Speaker post.” He further assured of NC’s support to the NCP provided it clears out all the doubts surrounding the candidate determined for the Speaker post. Stating that NC is neither ‘for’ and ‘against’ the candidate determined for Speaker post, he reminded the role of women in various political movements of the country and argued that the parliament should be run on the basis of rule of law and with sense of responsibility towards public. In the meeting, senior member Thakur congratulated newly elected Speaker Sapkota. The meeting of House of Representatives held on January 20 had decided that the election on Speaker be held today. On that day, Deputy Speaker Dr Shivamaya Tumbahangphe had appraised the HoR about her resignation. The post of Speaker had been vacant after then Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned from his post over the allegation of sexual abuse from a female staffers of the Parliament Secretariat. The next meeting of the HoR is slated for 1 pm on January 28.

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