Guv appointments clear deck for upper house poll

January 19, 2018 06:09 AM Republica


KATHMANDU, Jan 19: The appointment of governors in all seven provinces has cleared the way for the formation of a new government. The new government will be formed soon after the Election Commission (EC) holds the upper house elections. 

With the appointment of the governors, the election body on Thursday announced the name-list of the members of the provincial assemblies elected under the proportional representation (PR) category of the elections held on November 26 and December 7 last year. Also, the EC will distribute certificates to the poll-winning candidates on Friday.  

A board meeting of the election body has decided to distribute the certificates to the winning candidates amid a function at the EC headquarters in Kathmandu. The distribution of certificates to provincial assembly members elected under the PR category will pave the way for the formation of provincial assemblies, upper house elections and finally help power handover to the new government. 

“Now, the political deadlock has ended and the new government will be in place soon,” said Election Commissioner Ishwori Prasad Paudyal.

Over a month has passed since the parliamentary and provincial elections, but the poll-winning parties have not been able to form the government over legal complications mainly in appointing governors. Also, there is still confusion over whether announce the final poll results of the federal parliament polls before the upper house election. The upper house election was affected as the newly elected members could not assume office in the absence of governors, the ceremonial heads of the provincial governments.

The governors are constitutionally responsible for administering the oath of office and secrecy to the eldest members of the provincial assemblies. The eldest member in each provincial assembly will them administer the oath of office and secrecy to the rest of the members.      

As per the legal provision, the election body needs to submit the name list of the members elected to the provincial assemblies to the governors within five days after announcing the poll results. President Bidya Bhandari is scheduled to administer the oath of office and secrecy to the newly appointed governors on Friday. 

The governors will administer the oath of office and secrecy to newly elected members of the provincial assembly. Thereby, the members of provincial assemblies elected under the first-past-the-post electoral system and proportional representation category will be eligible to cast their votes in the upper house elections. 

“The oath of office and secrecy to the newly elected members of the provincial assemblies will ensure upper house elections. Moreover, it will also pave the way for the appointment of governors and formation of provincial assemblies and provincial governments,” said Commissioner Paudyal. 

Once the provincial assemblies are formed, the chief ministers of the provinces can be elected. The election of chief ministers, according to the law, should be conducted within 20 days of the first meeting of the provincial assemblies whereas the first meeting of the provincial assembly needs to elect the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the provincial houses. 

Elections to the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the provincial parliament should be held within 15 days of the poll results. 

The EC has set February 7 as a date for upper house elections. The parties commanding a majority can form the government by producing the signatures of the majority lawmakers at the President's Office.

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