Maoist Subedi is Nembang’s deputy

Kathmandu, November 28:

Purna Kumari Subedi, a Constituent Assembly (CA) member from the CPN-Maoist, was elected today vice-chairperson of the constitution-making body with a majority vote.

Subedi, elected to the CA from Constituency-4 of Banke district, got 346 of 505 votes the CA members had cast.

Sixty-nine CA members of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF), Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), Sadbhavana Party and Nepal Workers and Peasant Party went against Subedi’s candidature.

While 90 CA members of the main opposition Nepali Congress and other fringe parties voted for the abstention column. Around a dozen NC CA members chose to abstain despite the party’s whip to cast vote in the abstention column during voting for Subedi.

A NC CA member told this daily that Arzoo Deuba, Meena Pandey, Sita Gurung, Tirtha Ram Dangol, Ram Krishna Chitrakar, Radheshyam Adhikari, Gagan Thapa, Purna Bahadur Khadka and Deep Kumar Upadhyaya chose to abstain despite the party’s whip to cast vote in the abstention column. NC had decided to cast vote in favour of all woman candidates except the Maoist candidate.

Khobhari Ray of Sadbhavana Party, Pratibhva Rana of Rastriya Prajatantra Party were backed by 15 fringe parties, Leela Neichyain of Nepal Workers’ and Peasant Party, TMDP’s Ramani Ram and Nilam KC (Khadka) of the CPN-ML were also on the polls fray for the coveted post.

But the CA did not have to hold any election to decide fates of Ramani Ram and KC as Subedi had already swept the polls with a comfortable majority, backed by Maoist,

CPN-UML, CPN-ML, Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi Devi), Janamorcha Nepal and CPN-United.

Voting on Rana, Ray and Neichyain were held turn-by-turn. Voting on Subedi’s candidature came after the three previous candidates failed to muster majority votes of 297 out of the total existing 594 votes.

CA chairman Subas Chandra Nembang administered the oath of the office and secrecy to Subedi immediately after she won the election.

“My election to the post is for peace and change, and to women, who occupy half of the total population, still have to struggle for equal share in parental property,” CA vice-chairperson Subedi said. She expected cooperation with the media, civil society and intellectual community.

Meanwhile, Dinanath Sharma, chief whip of the CPN-Maoist, informed that his party had nominated Kuber Bahadur Oli of Dang as CA member under proportional representation (PR) system to replace senior Maoist leader Mohan Baidya. Baidya had resigned from his post a few months ago.