CPN-UML’s Subash Chandra Nembang was elected unopposed as Chairperson of the Constituent Assembly on Tuesday. The CA Chair is also the Speaker of the Legislature-Parliament.

The senior most member in the House, Surya Bahadur Thapa in his capacity as pro tem Speaker declared the result since he was the only candidate in the race and all parties expressed support.

UML Parliamentary Party leader K.P. Oli proposed Mr. Nembang’s name and the NC’s Krishna Prasad Sitaula seconded it. Mr. Oli commended other political parties for not fielding a candidate against his party colleague who held the same post in the last Constituent Assembly. “This is a sign of high level understanding,” he said. “Mr. Nembang would carry out his responsibilities impartially and independently and not beholden to any political party.”

However, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said Mr. Nembang had failed as CA chair in the last assembly. The Maoist party chief also doubted that the Constitution would be written “given that the same person has been chosen to be CA chair.” He accused the two largest parties, the NC and the UML, of ignoring his party. The UCPN (Maoist) had claimed the post itself.

Most party leaders extended support to Mr. Nembang’s candidacy; some of them, however, expressed concern about the Constitution being written in a year.

Mr. Nembang would be administered the oath of office and secrecy by President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav at the latter’s office on Wednesday.

Mr. Nembang’s election was not in doubt after the Nepali Congress – the largest party – reiterated its commitment to vote for a UML candidate as CA Chair and House Speaker. The NC and the UML came together amid rising difference between the two parties over the interpretation of the seven-point power-sharing agreement that they had signed on February 9. The powerful Ministry of Home Affairs has become the bone of contention, with the UML demanding the portfolio, citing the agreement. The NC said no such commitment was made.

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