KATHMANDU: Fifty-five members elected in the National Assembly, the upper house of Nepal's bicameral federal parliament, today took oath of office and secrecy amidst a ceremony at New Baneshwor-based Federal Parliament Building.

NA senior most member Tara Devi Bhatta administered the oath of office and secrecy to them this evening. NA member Ramesh Prasad Yadav was absent on the occasion. In the 59-member NA, there is the representation of eight members from each of the seven provinces, including (at least) three women, one Dalit, and one person with disability or belonging to a minority group.

The CPN-UML has 27 members, the Nepali Congress 13 and the CPN Maoist Centre has 12 in the upper house. Likewise, two each are from the Rastriya Janata Party and Federal Socialist Forum. Following the ceremony, General Secretary at the Federal Parliament Secretariat, Manohar Prasad Bhattarai congratulated them.

However, the swearing-in of three NA members was not held today, for the Supreme Court had earlier issued an order staying their oath.

Earlier, President Bidya Devi Bhandari administered the oath of office and secrecy to the senior most member Bhatta. Currently, there are 21 women and 35 men members in the NA.

With the promulgation of the new constitution and the changed system of federal republic, it is the first time the NA is formed. Article 86 of the Constitution of Nepal has provisioned for the formation of NA and the term of its members.

The term of one-third of the NA members expires every two years. The tenure of the NA is six years.