KATHMANDU: Newly elected speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Agni Prasad Sapkota has taken the oath of office and secrecy, today.

President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath to Speaker Saptoka at a programme organised this morning at the President's Office, in Shital Niwas, Kathmandu.

Present at the ceremony were Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, National Assembly Chairperson Ganesh Prasad Timilsina, Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher JB Rana, among other high level officials.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmaker Agni Prasad Sapkota was elected speaker of the House of Representatives unopposed on Sunday. Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Mahantha Thakur, who presided over the HoR meeting as the senior-most member of HoR, announced Sapkota's election as he was the only candidate for the post of speaker.

Earlier, Senior Advocate Dinesh Tripathi had filed a public interest litigation against Sapkota’s candidacy on Friday stating the process of electing Sapkota as the new speaker should be stayed as a first information report (FIR) had been filed against him accusing him of killing Arjun Lama.

The Supreme Court did not hear the case against Agni Prasad Sapkota challenging his candidacy. Purnimaya Lama, eight years ago, had filed a case against Sapkota accusing him of playing a role in the abduction and killing of her husband Arjun Lama in 2005, in Kavre.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe had tendered resignation from her position clearing way for the election of a new speaker. Although Tumbahangphe had also staked her claim to the speaker’s post, she was forced to resign as per constitutional provisions after the ruling NCP (NCP) decided to retain the top post.

Tumbahangphe claimed it was she who emerged ultimate winner because she was successful in protecting the parliament from political parties’ diktats. Speaking at a press conference after she submitted her resignation to the Parliament Secretariat, Tumbahanghpe said patriarchy was stronger than monarchy in Nepal.

The position had fallen vacant on October 1, 2019 when the then speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned after a female staffer of the Parliament Secretariat filed an FIR accusing him of attempt-to-rape.

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