Parliament unanimously elects Gharti as Nepal's first woman Speaker
KATHMANDU: The Parliament on Friday unanimously elected UCPN-Maoist lawmaker Onsari Gharti Magar the Speaker of House.
Gharti was elected unanimously to the post after Nepal Workers and Peasants Party withdrew the candidacy of its lawmaker Anuradha Thapa Magar.
With the victory, the Maoist leader became the first woman to lead the legislative body in Nepal's parliamentary history. Earlier, she had served the House as the Deputy Speaker.
Gharti was backed by the ruling coalition, consisting of CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic and some fringe parties.
The main opposition Nepali Congress had also decided to support her.
Speaking at the House meeting, NC Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel said the party decided to support Gharti and Deputy Speaker's candidate Ganga Prasad Yadav as the Speaker and Deputy Speaker should be impartial and neutral, and a unanimous election would help them be so.
CPN-UML Vice-Chairperson Bidya Bhandari had proposed nomination of Gharti while RPP-N's Kunti Kumari Shahi and Bahujan Shakti Party's Bishwendra Paswan had seconded it.