Eighteen members have been elected to the National Assembly (NA), the 59-member Upper House of the bicameral Federal Parliament. The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has bagged 16 seats while its alliance Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) has won two seats. An interesting aspect of the election is that all of them are new faces. One-third of the seats of the Upper House will remain vacant in March. With 18 members already elected, one will be appointed by the President. The first election to the NA was held two years ago after the promulgation of the inclusive federal Constitution in 2015. As expected, the fresh NA election proved to be a setback for the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) as it failed to elect even a single candidate from across the nation. NCP’s spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha and another leader Beduram Bhusal are among those elected from the ruling party. Shrestha was elected from Gandaki State while Bhusal from Bagmati State.
As per the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), NCP candidates Indira Devi Gautam, Gopi Bahadur Sarki Acchami and Devendra Dahal were elected from State 1 and Tulasha Kumari Dahal and Radheshyam Paswan from State 2. Likewise, two candidates of RJP-N, Shekhar Kumar Singh and Mrigendra Kumar Singh Yadav, were elected from the State 2. Similarly, NCP candidates Ganga Kumari Belbase from Bagmati State, Bhagwati Neupane from Gandaki State and Bimala Ghimire, Jag Prasad Sharma and Gopal Bhattarai from State-5 were elected. Other elected NA members included Sumitra B.C. and Maya Prasad Sharma from Karnali State while Sharada Devi Bhatta and Taraman Swar were elected from Sudurpaschim State. The NA members whose term is expiring on March 3 include Sarita Prasain, Surendra Raj Pandey, Hari Charan Shivakoti, Ram Prit Paswan, Binda Devi Ale, Brishesh Chandra Lal, Badri Prasad Pandey, Balaram Prasad Baskota, Meena Budha, Dr. Yuba Raj Khatiwada, Yutol Tamang, Ramesh Prasad Yadav, Durga Prasad Upadhyaya, Dhana Kumari Khatiwada, Kamala Kumari Oli, Kali Bahadur Malla and Khem Raj Nepali.
State Assembly members and chiefs and deputy chiefs of local levels form an electoral college to elect the NA members. A total of 2,056 voters, including 1,506 chiefs and deputy chiefs of local governments and 550 State Assembly members cast their votes on Thursday. According to the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), a total of 99.22 per cent eligible voters cast their secret ballots. There were 45 candidates in the election fray. The election was held peacefully in all seven States.
The composition and powers of the NA as provisioned by the Part 8 and 9 of the Constitution of Nepal, eight members are elected from each of the seven states by an electoral college of each state, and three are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the government. Its composition is unique in the sense that one-third of its seats remain vacant every two years. Of the 59 members elected two years ago, 19 members have two years’ term, 20 have four years’ and the remaining have a full term of six years. Most of the new members seem to be the leaders and cadres of the ruling party. As it is an important phase of implementing the constitution, the NA members, who are distinguished personalities from different fields, have an august role to play in the legislative field of the nation.