National Assembly meeting/File photo.
KATHMANDU: A significant transition is on the horizon as one-third of the members of the National Assembly, the Upper House of the Federal Parliament, are set to retire on March 4, 2024. Among the 20 members concluding their terms is Chair Ganesh Prasad Timilsina.
The National Assembly, often referred to as the Elders’ House, boasts 59 members, and the six-year tenure of this specific group is slated to conclude on March 4. The allocation of their terms was determined through a draw for the first time following the Assembly’s formation in 2074 BS.
Renowned for its role in refining bills and legislations, fostering substantial discussions, and offering feedback, suggestions, and advice on decisions made by the House of Representatives (HoR), the Lower House of Parliament, the National Assembly has occasionally urged the HoR to review essential bills. Despite facing criticism for becoming a mere shadow of the Lower House, the National Assembly has, at times, conveyed messages to the HoR calling for reconsideration of crucial bills.
The members concluding their terms on March 4 encompass representatives from various political parties, including the Nepali Congress, CPN (UML), CPN (Maoist Centre), Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP), CPN (Unified Socialist), and independent members, as well as one nominated by the President.
Notable among them are Anita Devkota, Jitendra Narayan Dev, Prakash Pantha, Ramesh Jung Rayamajhi, Indu Kadariya, Deepa Gurung, Dil Kumari Rawal, Kumar Dasaundi, Narapati Luwar, Bhairab Sundar Shrestha, Ram Chandra Rai, Bina Pokharel, Mahesh Kumar Mahara, Hariram Chaudhary, Pramila Kumari, Nanda Chapain, Singa Bahadur Bishwakarma, Dr. Khim Lal Devkota (Independent), and Dr. Bimala Paudyal (Nominated).
It is noteworthy that Dasaundi and Dr. Devkota were elected through a by-election on February 8, 2023, filling the remaining terms following the resignations of Ram Bahadur Thapa and Khimlal Bhattarai. The terms of all National Assembly members, whose tenures were initially determined through a lottery system for two, four, and six years after the Assembly’s formation in 2074 BS, are set to conclude on March 4, 2024.
The distribution includes eight members from the CPN (UML), four from the Nepali Congress, three from the Maoist Centre, two from the Unified Socialist, and one from the JSP, along with one independent and one nominated member.