Sudurpaschim and Madhesh assemblies elect SpeakersMaoist Centre’s Bhim Bahadur Bhandari and CPN-UML’s Ram Chandra Mandal have been elected Speakers of Sudurpaschim and Madhesh provinces, respectively.
Arjun Shah & Santosh Singh
CPN (Maoist Centre)’s provincial assembly member Bhim Bahadur Bhandari has been elected Sudurpaschim Assembly Speaker after a third round of voting. The motion calling to elect Bhandari to the post presented at the provincial assembly meeting on Tuesday morning received 29 votes.
A total of 11 provincial assembly members of the Maoist Centre, 10 of the UML, seven of the Nagarik Unmukti Party and one of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party voted in favour of Bhandari, who was elected to the provincial assembly from Bajhang-2.
The election for a new Speaker was pushed to the third round after the candidates fell short of the majority in the earlier two rounds of voting. A total of 27 votes is required to prove the majority in the 53-strong assembly.
In the voting held on Saturday, Bhandari got 22 votes after seven lawmakers of the Nagarik Unmukti Party chose to remain neutral. He had received 26 votes in the first round of the election held on Thursday.
As per a power-sharing deal, the UML and Maoist Centre will lead the provincial government on a rotation basis. Likewise, the parties in the ruling alliance had agreed to share the Speaker post with the Maoist Centre and the deputy Speaker post with the Nagarik Unmukti Party.
Ranjita Shrestha, president of the Nagarik Unmukti Party, on Monday directed the party’s provincial assembly members to vote for the alliance in the election for a Speaker.
Likewise, CPN-UML provincial assembly member Ram Chandra Mandal has been elected the Speaker of Madhesh Province assembly.
Mandal, a candidate from the ruling coalition, was supported by eight parties including provincial assembly members of the Mahanta Thakur-led Loktantrik Samajbadi Party.
Mandal secured 74 votes to claim the post while his opponent Jangi Lal Rae of the Nepali Congress received 29 votes.
Mandal was elected a provincial assembly member for the second time from Dhanusha 1 (b) in the November 20 elections.
On Tuesday’s election, 103 out of 107 province assembly members participated in the voting process.
Bharat Prasad Shah, the provincial assembly leader of the CPN (Maoist Centre), had proposed Mandal’s nomination. UML provincial assembly leader Saroj Kumar Yadav, Janamat Party provincial assembly leader Mahesh Yadav and Janata Samajbadi Party provincial assembly member Ram Ashish Yadav had seconded the proposal.
Similarly, Congress provincial assembly member Kumar Kant Jha had proposed Rae’s nomination, which was seconded by Congress provincial assembly member Jiwachi Kumari Yadav.