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Political Transitional Period Ends

Issue January 2018

Political Transitional Period Ends

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Even after disastrous defeat of his party in the provincial and federal elections, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has not stopped making crucial decisions, and his last minute decisions have made him more controversial and shameful, and exposed his incompetence in decision-makings. However, one important decision he made has been on declaring 16 brave people to martyrs. The decision has been appreciable very much. Election Commission has expedited the process for holding the election to National Assembly after Prime Minister Deuba announced the names of the temporary provincial capitals and provincial chiefs. Once, the election to National Assembly completes, a new government is formed at the center and provincial governments at the provinces, the process for setting up Federal Democratic Republic Of Nepal is done, and the political transitional period ends.


The government bestowed the status of martyr on 16 people the then Panchayat government of King Birendra killed in the Khoku Chhintang in the Dhankuta district on November 13, 1979, the news stated on January 12, 2018. This is one of the examples of genocides King Birendra committed.


Minister for Industry Sunil Bahadur Thapa had proposed at the cabinet meeting to declare 16 people killed at Chhintang as martyrs to meet his election pledge. The irony is that his father Surya Bahadur Thapa was the prime minister when the massacre took place. Junior Thapa even said that he took such a decision so that the CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist-Center would not have a chance of taking political advantage of politicizing the event and then declaring them martyrs, the news on stated.


Leaders of CPN-UML had blamed the then late Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa for the security personnel killing its cadres who had been picked up when they had been simply enjoying a cultural program. The police took them to a hill, and lined them up and then shot them mercilessly. They belonged to the then CPM-Marxist-Leninist: the predecessor of current CPN-UML. The Panchayat rulers had charged them with engaging in bringing down the Panchayat system, the news stated.


Again the irony is that the CPN-UML had been in power three times, and it had been the coalition partner in the several previous governments but it could not give justice to its own cadres that had sacrificed the lives for the cause of democracy. Those brave political cadres had to wait so many years until Junior Thapa proposed them for martyrs and Prime Minister Deuba declared it, the news stated.


“During the despotic Panchayat regime, many people sacrificed their lives in course of anti-regime struggles. They were the real paladins committed to democracy and freedom. But political parties divided them on democratic and left lines, undermining their sacrifice. There were ‘communist martyrs’ and ‘Nepali Congress martyrs.’ This ugly game caused delay in officially recognizing many true martyrs”, the news on stated.


“Even after the nation’s ushering into a federal republic, the politicization of martyrs has not come to a stop. Some Madhes-based parties used martyrs as an instrument to leverage their parochial politics. It is no wonder that the parties use martyrs to gain political mileage. Similar motive was behind the decision of Minister Thapa to accept the late UML’s workers as martyrs. It did not court controversy because the communists that are set to form (a) new government must have been happy with this announcement,” the news on stated.


“Bali-dani Divas” means “Martyrs’ Anniversary” has been limited to the formality after eleven years of the Madhesh movement, the news headline in “gorkhapatra” of January 20, 2018 stated. Speaking at a rally held by Tarai-Madhesh Rastriya Parishad at Maitighar in Kathmandu on the occasion of “Bali-dani Divas” on January 19, 2018, political analyst CK Lal has complained that the leaders born of the Madhesh movement have disregarded the “Bali-dani Divas,” and the Madheshi political parties born of the Madhesh movement also have removed the word Madhesh from the parties, the news in “gorkhapatra” stated on January 20, 2018.


None of the Madheshi top leaders bother to attend the rally held to mark the “Bali-dani Divas” at Maitighar in Kathmandu. Most of the Madheshi leaders were in Kathmandu, and they had been busy with the internal discussion on the “Bali-dani Divas” day.


Rastriya Janata Party Nepal held an event on January 19, 2018 to welcome the members elected to the provincial House of Representatives through the proportional representation, and the provincial chief but it did not mention even the “Bali-dani Divas” even though the day was “Bali-dani Divas”, the news in “gorkhapatra” stated on January 20, 2018.


However, Rastriya Janata Party Nepal and Federal Social Forum Nepal have held a rally at Lahan of the Siraha district on January 19 to mark the “Bali-dani Divas”, and the folks killed in the Madhesh movement were remembered as martyrs, however, it remained only a formality, the news in “gorkhapatra” on January 20, 2018 stated. None of the top Madheshi leaders showed up at the rally.


The news on stated that even though a formal program was held in Lahan to commemorate the Martyrs' Day, on the contrary to the people’s anticipation none of the leaders of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) including President Upendra Yadav and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) leaders were nowhere to be seen at the ceremony except for Raj Kishore Yadav: a leader of RJPN.


Ramesh Mahato lost his life while fighting for the rights and fair treatment of the Madheshi people in 2007, and  he became the first martyr of the movement. “My son was declared the first martyr of the Madhesh Movement. We lost him in the fight for our rights. But now, he has been forgotten by those parties who claim to have been fighting for our rights,” lamented Mahato's mother. “I feel that my son's sacrifice has gone in vain. The leaders have no time even to mark the Martyrs' Day,” she added, the news on stated.


A huge red colorful board was explicitly speaking of the role of Ramesh Mahato mentioning how he died for the people of Madhesh and how precious was his contribution. The family members were simply frozen while talking about him. Mahato's father said that the death of one's child never becomes an outdated issue. “We always remember him and we always recall that he died for Madhesh. But we really feel bad that the leaders have nothing to do with this now,” he noted, the news on stated.


The locals fought for equal rights and dignity during the Madhesh movement in 2007. Mahato and many others had died during the protests. “Many fathers like me lost their children for some reason. They had dreams. They wanted peace, prosperity and dignity of our people in the long run. But to look at the attitude of the leaders here, we simply feel so disappointed,” the Ramesh's father Rabi said, the news on stated.


According to the martyrs’ fathers, the political parities only took advantage of their sons who attained martyrdom during the Madhesh Movement. Some new faces even emerged as leaders after the struggles during the movement. Many of them even grabbed high posts, some became ministers, he said. “But what have the Madheshi people got? Do our leaders really feel any change in Madhesh? Are they ready to pave way for development and prosperity here? If you ask me, they are not even eager to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor, low caste and high caste. We are extremely disappointed to see that our leaders are only interested in holding on to power,” he fumed, the news on stated. Certainly, social movements did not follow the political movements; consequently, the ills of the society have continued to remain as they are.


President Bidhya Bhandari and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba solemnly garlanded the statue of Prithvi Narayan Shah on January 11, 2018 to mark his 296th birth anniversary disregarding the fact that Prithvi and his descendents had kept the entire Nepalese oppressed and in the poverty for centuries. However, the president and the prime minister had not a single word for the martyrs that had been instrumental in putting them in the respective office of the president and the prime minister today.


Ultimately, Prime Minister Deuba made decisions on the provincial capitals and provincial chiefs provoking strong protests in the east, the center and the west. Folks in Dhankuta have been protesting the declaration of Biratnagur as the temporary capital of Province-1 demanding to make Dhankuta a provincial capital instead. Similarly, folks in Birgunj and Dang have been highly dissatisfied with the Deuba’s decision on selecting the provincial capitals, and they have been protesting against the decision on making different towns as provincial capitals going against their aspirations for making the towns of their choice as the provincial capitals.


A shutdown continues in the Dang district on January 18, 2018 done in protest against the government’s decision on making Rupandehi a temporary capital of Province-5 instead of making Ghorahi in the Dang district. Vehicles plying to the Dang have been stopped at Bhalubang and Ameliya, as the Dang road section has remained completely closed. Member-Secretary of the Struggle Committee and Dang President of Federation of Nepali Journalists: Sabin Priyasan said that the indefinite general strike would be continued until the government corrects its decision. In a press statement, CPN-Maoist-Centre leader and member of House of Representatives newly elected from the Dang-2 constituency: Krishna Bahadur Mahara protested the government’s decision on declaring Rupandehi a temporary capital of province-5. CPN-UML leader and newly elected member from the Dang 2 (1) to the Province-5 assembly: Shankar Pokharel said that the government’s decision was irrational. The news on stated.


Massive protests erupted in Dhankuta, Dharan, Doti, Banke, Parsa and Dang districts on Thursday, January 18, 2018 a day after the government announced temporary provincial capitals. Angered by the government's decision on selecting the provincial capitals, protestors in various districts have intensified their campaign demanding to locate the provincial capitals in their respective areas. The news on stated.


Local Administration Office placed Dhankuta under curfew for an unlimited period starting on Thursday, January 18, 2018 after protests against the government naming Biratnagar a capital of Province-1 went out of control. Protestors vandalized and set fire on the government offices, vehicles and marketplaces leading to the clashes with the police, said Dhankuta's Chief District Officer Prem Prakash Upreti. Protestors set fire on Regional Administration Office in Dhankuta destroying office furniture, computer and documents. Protestors also vandalized Land Revenue Office, Post Office, Dhankuta-bench office of the High Court in Biratnagar, and Urban Development Office among others. Protestors also vandalized a fire engine of Dhankuta Municipality while on its way to douse fire, and an ambulance (Ko 2 Cha 432) and a motorcycle parked in the Urban Development Office. The news on stated.


Police clashed with protesters at Bhim Narayan Chowk, Madan Chowk and Regional Administration Office. Tension flared up after police confronted with and tried to arrest the protesters that have been enforcing closure of transportation and marketplace. Seven protesters including NC treasurer of Dhankuta chapter Dimes Rai were injured in the clashes leading Rai to have five stitches in his head following the police charged headlong at him. After protesters started setting fire on buildings and vehicles in the morning, Superintendent of Police (SP) Sudeep Raj Bhandari of Dhankuta District Police Office (DPO) himself arrived at Dhankuta Bazaar to arrest protesters. The irate protesters then vandalized the police van SP Raj Bhandari used to come over there. The news on stated.


Protesters in Dipayal of the Doti district burned Prime Minister Deuba in effigy in the protest against the government decision on naming Dhangadhi a temporary capital of Province-7. Then, the situation in Dipayal took a bad turn on Thursday, January 18, 2018. Police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse angry protestors leading to the clash causing 13 injured on both sides of the protestors and the police. Deputy Superintendent Police (DSP) Shiva Bahadur Singh of DPO, Doti said that 13 rounds of tear gas shells were fired. Protestors pelted stones at Regional Administration Office and tried to set fire on it. However, the police saved it dispersing the protestors with force using tear gas and batons. DSP Singh said that nine police were injured in the clash with the protestors. He added that their condition is normal. The news on stated.


Likewise, four protestors sustained injuries in the clash in Dipayal. The situation of one injured, Bharat BK of Dipayal Silgadhi Municipality-4, has been reported to be critical. He has been referred to Seti Zonal Hospital in Dhangadhi for further treatment. Protestors also vandalized a traffic check post in Rajpur of Dipayal and set ablaze a motorcycle belonging to District Forest Office in Silgadhi. Furious cadres of the ruling NC hoisted a black flag at their party office. They also burned Prime Minister Deuba and his spouse Arzu Rana Deuba in effigies on the office premises. The news on stated.


Protesters led by Prakash Saud central member of Federation of Nepal Chambers of Commerce and Industry also burned down Prime Minister Deuba in an effigy at the district headquarters Bag Bazaar in the Dadeldhura district in the afternoon. The news on stated.


Meanwhile in Dharan, a struggle committee set up with the objective of putting pressure on the government for declaring Dharan a capital of Province-1 has postponed its month-long relay hunger strike on Thursday, January 18, 2018 stating it declared peaceful protests instead. Nonetheless, violent activities like vandalism and strike have been observed in Sunsari. The news on stated.


Meanwhile, politicians and civil society leaders in Nepalgunj have threatened to secede from the Banke district if the district was not declared a 'permanent' provincial capital. Former Minister and parliamentarian Mohammad Estiyak Rai, parliamentarian Nanda Lal Rokaya, provincial legislator Surendra Lama among others threatened to intensify the protests if their demand was not met. The news on stated.


On its third day of the protests in Dang on January 19, 2018, NC and the Left Alliance have taken the leadership of the ongoing protests to put pressure on the Deuba government to reverse its decision on the provincial capital. Political parties have set up a struggle committee to effectively hold the protests and shut down the district for 24 hours a day indefinitely. Protests erupted after the government made a decision on selecting the provincial capital on the contrary to the recommendations of the experts to make Ghorai in the Dang district a provincial capital. The news on stated.


Following its inconclusive discussion with the protesting residents of Dhankuta and political parties against the Deuba government for making Biratnagar as a temporary provincial capital, the local administration office continued with its prohibitory order on Saturday, January 20, 2018; as long as the nature of the protest doesn’t change, the district will be continued to remain under the prohibitory order, Prem Prakash Upreti, chief district officer said; the protest has continued demanding to name Dhankuta a provincial capital, and the regular life has been disrupted due to the closure of market and stoppage of vehicles traveling in the area,  the news on stated on January 20, 2018.


Locals of Bhaktapur including people's representatives, representatives of various political parties, employees, and intellectuals have continued a protest on January 19, 2018 against the government naming Hetauda in Makawanpur a capital of province-3, and demanded to make Bhaktapur a temporary capital of Province-3. Speaking at a corner meeting, newly elected Member of Parliament Mahesh Basnet said that the government should correct its move, and name Bhaktapur a temporary capital of the province-3. Three large political parties such as CPN-UML, NC and CPN-Maoist-Centre supported the protest. The news on stated.


Protestors burned down Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, his Deputy Kamal Thapa, and Chairman of Nepal Workers and Peasants’ Party Narayan Man Bijuckchhe in their respective effigies in Bhaktapur. Bijuckchhe was burned down for publicly opposing Bhaktapur to be a provincial capital, Kamal Thapa for influencing Deuba to name Hetauda a temporary capital of Province-3, and of course Prime Minister Deuba for naming Hetauda a temporary capital of province-3 instead of Bhaktapur.


Among the seven provincial chiefs Deuba had appointed, the conspicuous one has been Anuradha Koirala. She was appointed as the provincial chief of Province-3, according to the news published in “gorkhapatra” on January 18, 2018. Anuradha Koirala is a famous chief of a non-governmental organization called Maiti Nepal that has been saving hundreds if not thousands of Nepalese women from the Indian brothels, and she has rehabilitated them at the Maiti Nepal center in Kathmandu, and has saved many Nepalese young women from trafficking to the Indian brothels, too. CNN had honored her with an award for her outstanding humanitarian work. So, she is a CNN hero, too.


No doubt about that she is a very able person to be a chief of a province. However, she only recently joined the NC party, according to the Nepalese media report. She is so fresh in the party even then Deuba has appointed her to a provincial chief as if nobody in his party is available as of her caliber to be fit to be a provincial chief clearly indicating Deuba has meet his interest in appointing her to a provincial chief.


Admitting Anuradha Koirala to his party, and then appointing her to a chief of the Province-3, Deuba has contributed to make the Maiti Nepal an orphan, and to change the profession of Anuradha Koirala from a NGO manager to a provincial chief. Her reputation as a NGO manager has been sky high. Whether she would be able to keep her reputation after jumping into the politics and taking the responsibility of a provincial chief remains to be seen. Any political game is not as clean as running a NGO.


This decision on choosing Anuradha Koirala for the office of a provincial chief is comparable to the decision Deuba made on giving the party tickets for the candidates to run for House of Representatives to his spouse Dr Arju Rana Deuba, then Govinda Raj Pokharel: former CEO of Nepal Reconstruction Authority, and former ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhaya to mention a few bypassing hundreds of patriotic party members that must be more qualified than them if party tickets were distributed based on the merits. Pokharel resigned from the CEO for running for House of Representatives, and Upadhaya also did the same and returned home from his duty station in New Delhi, India for running for House of Representatives. Unfortunately, both of them lost the elections means the double loss for them.


Making arbitrary decisions on various matters including choosing provincial chiefs and provincial capitals, Deuba has not been able to satisfy even his party members and colleagues not to mention the opposition leader KP Oli. In fact, he had a direct confrontation with one of the ministers at the cabinet meeting concerning the decisions on naming provincial capitals and choosing provincial chiefs. However, Deuba has surely met the needs of certain individuals including his Deputy Kamal Thapa, as Hetauda became a temporary capital of Province-3 as desired by Thapa.


Speaking to the anchor of the Radio Nepal morning program called “antar-sambad” on January 19, 2018, CPN-UML leader Rabindra Adhikari labeled the decisions Deuba made on choosing provincial chiefs and provincial capitals and other as ‘dhan-dha’ means a business for supporting a family, according to the Nepali dictionary published by Nepal Academy. So, Deuba has been staying on at his official Baluwatar residence for business.


At the brief press conference held at the international airport in Kathmandu upon return from Bangkok on January 18, 2018 after the regular health checkup, Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli said that the decisions on the temporary provincial capitals, and provincial chiefs could be reviewed based on the necessity and the favorable conditions; so, there is no need for launching a movement for forcing to declare provincial capitals of their choice. “A new government will make proper decisions on provincial capitals and chiefs at the suitable time,” the news on “gorkhapatra” of January 19, 2018 quoted KP Oli as saying. It is a clear hint at the possibility of changing the provincial capitals and the provincial chiefs when Oli becomes the next prime minister. He is a prime-minister-in-waiting.


However, folks have launched movements for and against naming the temporary capitals in various parts of country believing that temporary capitals will be semi-permanents as the constitution has made the provision for only the two-thirds majority of any provincial House could name its permanent capital. As long as any Provincial House could not make a two-thirds majority the temporary capital would continue as a provincial capital. As a prime-minister-in-waiting Oli could assure the folks of overturning the decision Deuba made on choosing provincial capitals however, he would really be able to do so remains to be seen.


Other decisions Deuba made have been giving NPR 5,000 monthly allowance to patients of chronic cancer, total kidney failure, and paralyzed due to spinal injury, and adding more money to the comfortable living of former President Dr Ram Baran Yadav. According to the Radio Nepal news, a considerable amount of money has been added to the house rent, four vehicles maintenance, and some staffers for the former president to have a cozy retired life. However, Deuba has been pathetically stingy with adding a small amount to the monthly allowance to the senior citizens.


Some doctors have said that such a small amount is nothing for the patients suffering from cancer, kidney failure and spinal injury, as such a small amount is insufficient for buying even basic medicines; however, something is better than nothing.


One thing we should not forget is Prime Minister Deuba has so generously contributed NPR 7 million to the treatment of former Speaker Taranath Ranabhatt; however, the disease was not disclosed. So, nobody is actually sure whether that amount is sufficient or not for the medical treatment of Ranabhatt that had continued to support the then king going against the movement the Seven-party Alliance had launched for the return of democracy reinstating the House the king had unceremoniously dissolved on the recommendation of the then Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. After the reinstatement of the House of Representatives, the then, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala forced Ranabhatt to quit the office, and elected Subas Nemwang to the Speaker of the House of Representatives that ended the monarchial rule in 2006.


Paying such a large amount to a single person for the medical treatment but providing only a very small amount to the common folks for treating the highly costly medical treatment, Deuba has the bias toward the remnants of the monarchy such as Ranabhatt, and against the common folks. Again the Deuba’s incompetence in running the State administration has caused the common folks to suffer.


One of the interesting disclosure Deuba has made is he does not know whom to transfer the power even after the provincial and federal elections, and the Left Alliance won almost two-thirds majority. In one of the recent public speech, Deuba has questioned whom to transfer the power. Deuba must have suffered from the blackout for a moment when he spoke these words otherwise he won’t say so, as he knows that the Left Alliance has won the majority for Federal House of Representatives; naturally the leader of the Left Alliance will take over from Deuba. The Left Alliance has been charging Deuba with delaying the transfer of power on the pretext of constitutional obligations.


Deuba has been incompetent no doubt about that but other NC leaders also have been incompetent, too not being able to dislodge Deuba from the party presidency. The standard ethical practice in any democratic countries has been to quit the office immediately after the defeat in any elections. However, our Deuba has not quit the party presidency for the electoral debacle his party has suffered in the provincial and federal elections, nor resigned from the government making room for the Left Alliance to form a new majority government.


NC leaders such as Ram Chandra Poudel, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Shekher Koirala, Shasank Koirala, youth leader Gagan Thapa, some Mahats and KCs have not been able to do anything to displace Deuba from the party presidency, and they have been helplessly keeping quiet letting Deuba run the party as he wanted. Most probably, these guys need a political therapy so that they would come back from political hibernation while Deuba needs a moral therapy so that he would awaken to the political ethics.


A press statement issued by party office secretary Dr Pradip Parajuli stated that the two-day NC central working committee meeting concluded on Friday, January 19, 2018 has decided to pick up the members of the party from among the leaders making significant contribution to the party to run for National Assembly in the election to be held on February 7, 2018 the news on stated on January 20, 2018.


Deuba needed to answer what contributions Anuradha Koirala made to the party for her to be eligible to be the provincial chief that Deuba appointed if the NC were really to select the party leaders or cadres for the jobs in the State administration or for running for National Assembly or House of Representatives based the contributions they have made to the NC party. What Deuba’s spouse Dr Arju Rana Deuba has contributed to the NC party for being eligible for the party ticket she received for running for the House of Representatives.


The press statement also stated that the NC central working committee meeting concluded that the thee-tier elections have institutionalized the inclusive democracy and republic that have been the achievements made with rigorous struggle; with the elections completed, a solid basis is formed to build democratic socialist and prosperous Nepal with inclusive democracy and republic, the press statement said, the news on stated on January 20, 2018.


The press statement stated that the central working committee meeting thanked the government Party President Sher Bahadur Deuba has led for playing a lead role in the implementation of the constitution also playing a vital role in successfully completing the polls, the news on stated on January 20, 2018.


Surprisingly, the central working committee meeting has not stated anything about the disastrous defeat of the NC in the polls indicating President Deuba has the tight authoritarian grip in the party, as NC leaders such as Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Ram Chandra Poudel, Prakash Man Singh and Bimlendra Nidhi, and Bijay Gacchedar present as a special invitee could not have even a few words publicly for the failure of the NC party Deuba had caused rather the central working committee meeting praised Deuba for resolving the disputes seen in Tarai after the promulgation of the constitution. Are these NC guys are in North Korea?


Provincial chiefs such as Prof Dr Govinda Bahadur Tumbahang, Ratneshwora Lal Kayastha, Anuradha Koirala, Baburam Kunwar, Umakant Jha, Durga Keshar Khanal and Mohanraj Malla Prime Minister Deuba has appointed as the chiefs of Provinces 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively took the oath of office from President Bidhya Bhandari on Friday, January 19, 2018, the media reports stated.


Not publishing the picture of the provincial chiefs taking the oath of office, the private media have protested the denial of entry to the private reporters to the president’s office for reporting the news on the oath-taking ceremony. This activity of the presidential administration certainly goes against the democratic norms and values. President Bhandari needs to be careful not to breach the democratic principles.


Putting down their cameras on the ground at the gate of the office of the President on Friday, January 19, 2018, photojournalists protested against the denial of entry to the photojournalists to the Shital Niwas: official residence of the president to cover the swearing-in ceremony of provincial chiefs, and they warned of not covering any events held at Shital Niwas if obstacles to the news coverage were not removed. The news on stated on January 20, 2018.


The oath-taking ceremony has opened up the door to newly elected provincial House members to take the oath from the provincial chiefs at the seven temporary provincial capitals paving a way to hold elections to National Assembly, as the 1,506 elected officials at local level, and 550 at the provincial level make the Electoral College for electing National Assembly.


The opposition political parties and political analysts have been charging Prime Minister Deuba with lengthening his stay on office as he took a long time to name the provincial capitals and provincial chiefs even after more than a month of the completion of the provincial and federal elections making Election Commission unable to hold the elections to National Assembly and subsequently submit the election results to the president for paving the way to form a new government.


Out of the 59 National Assembly members, the Electoral College will elect 56 and the president will nominate the remaining three. The National Assembly members have the six-year term of office but for the first year, one-third of them will have two, four or six years chosen on a lottery. Then, every two year, one-third of National Assembly members will be elected. Thus, National Assembly will be a permanent institution.


On January 21, 2018, elected seven provincial House members took an oath of office at the respective temporary capitals. First, the newly appointed provincial chiefs swore in the senior most members among all the elected members as the members of the provincial Houses, and then each senior most member swore in the rest of the members at all the provincial capitals.


In Janakpur: the provincial capital of Province-2 at the meeting hall of the Janakpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the senor most newly elected member Lagan Lal Chaudhary took the oath of office and secrecy from Provincial Chief Ratneswar Lal Kayastha in Nepali, and then Provincial Chief Kayastha advised Chaudhary to swear in the rest of the members in Nepali. However, Maithali peaking members refused to take an oath in Nepali, and then other members also insist on taking the oath in their respective national languages. Then Provincial Chief Kayastha approved to take an oath in their respective languages. Thereafter, 47 members took an oath in Maithali, 25 in Bhojpuri, 24 in Nepali and 11 in Hindi. All the provincial lawmakers were colorfully dressed up in their respective national costumes reflecting their culture and history. The news in “gorkhapatra” of January 22, 2018 stated.


Election Commission has smartly begun its work on holding the elections to the National Assembly. It has published the voters’ list of each province in the respective provincial capitals, and it is going to register the candidates for the National Assembly in all seven provinces on January 24, 2018 to hold the elections on February 7, 2018. Each candidate has to deposit NPR 10,000 as a security; however, the poor having less than NPR 50,000 annual income would get 50 percent discount provided they submit the certificates of the poverty received from the concerned local administration. Candidates have to be from among the National Assembly Electoral College in other words their names should be in the voters’ list, the news in “gorkhapatra” stated on January 23, 2018.


The Electoral College for the National Assembly election comprises chairmen and vice-chairmen of village councils, and mayors and deputy mayors of municipalities altogether 1506, and 550 members of seven provincial Houses making total 2056 voters. The value of each vote of elected local level officials is 18 whereas that of the provincial members is 48, according to the news published in “gorkhapatra” on January 22, 2018.


Each Province elects eight members; among them will be three women, three from the open competition, one dalit, and one disabled or from among the minority. Provincial members will use green ballot papers (each ballot carries 48 votes) whereas local members will use red ballot papers (each ballot carries 18 votes), according to the news published in “gorkhapatra” on January 23, 2018.


After the completion of the National Assembly elections, Election Commission will formally submit the results of House of Representatives and National Assembly to the president, and then the results will be published in the State Gazette paving the way for the leader of the party that has secured the majority to form a new government. Once a new government is formed at the center, provincial governments at the provinces, and House of Representatives and National Assembly start off their respective business at the center, and then the parliament means House of Representatives and National Assembly elects the president, vice-president, House of Representatives elects its Speaker and Deputy, and National Assembly elects its Chairperson and deputy, and Provincial Houses of Representatives sit for their businesses at the respective provincial temporary capitals, and elect their chief ministers, speakers and so on; then the enforcement of the constitution of Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal completes, and the political transitional period ends.


January 24, 2018


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