Urmila Aryal elected as upper house vice-chair unopposedShe had quit the UML and joined the Maoist Centre before 2013 Constituent Assembly elections.
CPN (Maoist Centre) lawmaker Urmila Aryal has been elected vice-chairperson of the National Assembly unopposed.
At a meeting of the upper house on Monday, Ganesh Timilsina, chairman of the National Assembly, announced Aryal was elected to the post unopposed.
Aryal got elected to the post as no one challenged her candidacy. Her nomination was proposed by upper house member Narayan Kaji Shrestha of the Maoist Center, and seconded by CPN-UML’s lawmaker Devendra Dahal and Khim Lal Devkota, an independent member of the House.
The Nepali Congress-led opposition alliance which had earlier fielded candidates for Speaker and Deputy Speaker, however, didn’t challenge Aryal’s candidacy. The largest party in the House of Representatives that is trying to improve its relations with the ruling Maoist Centre has now adopted a strategy not to challenge Maoist candidates, both at provincial and federal levels.
Giving brief reactions to mediapersons immediately after her election to the post, Aryal pledged to make the upper house more effective during her tenure. She also promised to play a neutral role rising above partisan interests and facilitate among lawmakers across parties while working on various pertinent issues.
Aryal started her politics from the UML. She was elected as a member of the lower house in 1999 from Parsa-4 and became the minister for women, children and social welfare, in 2006. She quit the UML and joined the Maoist Centre before 2013 Constituent Assembly elections.
She was elected to the upper house as a Maoist Centre candidate last year.
The vice-chairperson’s position had been vacant since March 5, when Shashi Kala Dahal retired on completion of her tenure.
Article 92 (2) of the constitution requires that either the chairperson or the vice-chairperson of the National Assembly must be a woman.