Maoist parliamentarian unanimously elected as the House speaker after her only competitor withdraws her candidacy
KATHMANDU: Nepal’s parliament elected its first woman speaker on Friday, as the country continued forming its new government after the adoption of a landmark constitution last month.
Maoist parliamentarian Onsari Gharti Magar was unanimously elected as the House speaker after her only competitor, Anuradha Thapa of Nepal Majdoor Kisan Party, withdrew her candidacy.
“She has become the first woman speaker of Nepal, with the backing of all the parties,” spokesman for Nepal’s parliament secretariat Bharat Gautam, told AFP.
Read: Nepal parliament to elect new prime minister Sunday
Magar, 37, held the position of the deputy speaker in Nepal’s second constituent assembly and tendered her resignation this week to pave way for the election.
“At this time when we have to make new laws and acts, it is important for all parties to work in unison,” Magar said after her election.
“I intend to take this forward by treating all political parties equally,” she said.
Ganga Prasad Yadav of the royalist Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal was also unanimously elected the deputy speaker.
Congrats Onsari Gharti Magar- 1st female Speaker of Parliament & youngest ever. #MoreWomen http://t.co/2DLDqIzE4J pic.twitter.com/FtmqH2aWGV
— U.S. Embassy Nepal (@USEmbassyNepal) October 17, 2015
Nepal on Sunday elected communist leader KP Sharma Oli as its new prime minister after former premier Sushil Koirala stepped down as required by the new constitution adopted on September 20.
The constitution, the first drawn up by elected representatives, is aimed at bolstering the Himalayan country’s transformation to a peaceful democracy after decades of political instability and a civil war.
After years of bickering about the charter, the devastating earthquake that hit the country in April spurred the main political parties into agreement on the document.
Read: Nepal seeks air-lifted fuel as India supplies stay blocked
However, the new constitution has also been met with discontent, triggering a blockade by protesters at a vital border checkpoint, cutting off fuel supplies from sole provider India and sparking a nationwide shortage.