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Cabinet nominates 17 lawmakers

The government has finally nominated 17 lawmakers – out of 26 vacant seats – today, after nine months of Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and seven months after the second CA first met on January 22.

A cabinet meeting this afternoon nominated eight each new lawmakers from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, and one from RPP-N making it to a total of 17. Of the nine members yet to be nominated, four seats have been allocated for UCPN-Maoist and four for Madhes-based and fringe parties.

Nepali Congress will get one more seat as agreed among the major parties.

According to the Interim Constitution, 26 lawmakers has to be nominated –among 601 members of the constitution drafting body – by the government.

Some 240 lawmakers have already been elected on November 19 through first-past-the-post (FPTP) election system and 335 were picked from the proportional representation (PR) electoral system making it to a total of 575 lawmakers.

Two of the nominees, Radheshyam Adhikari of Nepali Congress and Agni Kharel of CPN-UML, were in the first CA also. Both the senior advocates had worked for the first CA’s Constitutional Committee and almost all the task forces formed to settle the disputed issues.

Although the Cabinet nominated Rukmini Koirala of Nepali Congress in the afternoon, her name was removed from the list in the evening respecting Supreme Court’s verdict. The apex court, on May 12, had directed the authorities not to nominate members from among those who were rejected in first-past-the-post or proportional representation system. She was 82nd on the Nepali Congreee’s closed list for PR.

Among the nominated today, Mira Dhuju is wife of CPN-UML general secretary Ishwor Pokharel, whereas Ganesh Thapa is RPP-N chairman Kamal Thapa’s younger brother. Thapa faces charges of funds embezzlement as the president of All Nepal Football Association (ANFA). He is under the scrutiny of parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
New lawmakers
NC – Radheshyam Adhikari, Shiva Bahadur Khadka, Pushkar Acharya, Resham Baniya, Sakaldev Sukhiyar, Suryadev Das Urav, Umesh Shrestha, Anil Kumar Rungta
CPN-UML – Uday Nepali Shrestha, Agni Kharel, Ganga Dangi, Mira Dhoju, Pemba Bhote, Naresh Kharel, Rajan Bhattarai, Partaman Dhimal
RPP-N  – Ganesh Thapa