Senior-most Nepali lawmaker Thapa administered oath

Kathmandu, Jan 20: Nepal’s President Ram Baran Yadav Monday administered the oath as member of the second Constituent Assembly to senior-most lawmaker Surya Bahadur Thapa ahead of the first meeting Wednesday of the newly-elected body, the president’s office here said.

Octogenarian lawmaker Thapa, a former prime minister, is the most senior lawmaker in Nepal’s 601-member Constituent Assembly which was formed after the Nov 19 elections last year. According to the Interim Constitution 2007, the senior most lawmaker would first be administered oath by the head of state.

Thereafter, the senior-most member will administer oath to the newly-elected lawmakers of the constitution drafting body Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

Thapa took oath from the president in a programme organized at the president’s office in Kathmandu. Vice President Paramananda Jha was also present at the ceremony.

The secretariat has notified all the 574 CA members to attend the ceremony with their certificate of election.

Only 575 members of the 601-strong Assembly will be present in the first meeting Wednesday as the government is yet to nominate 26 members.

In the first Constituent Assembly in 2008, senior-most lawmaker Kul Bahadur Gurung had administered the oath to other lawmakers.

The senior-most lawmaker will also chair the meeting of the Constituent Assembly until the election of its chairman and vice-chairman.

Along with the responsibility of drafting a new constitution, Nepal’s Constituent Assembly will also function as the country’s parliament.

The first session of the assembly has been called Jan 26. The session will also elect a new prime minister.

IANS