Kathmandu, January 2
Either Chhabilal Bishwakarma or Prithvi Subba Gurung, lawmakers representing the CPN-UML, is likely to be the next speaker of the House of Representatives, say party insiders.
Supporting CPN-Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal for the prime ministerial position, the UML has made the ruling alliance agree that it will take over the president’s and the speaker’s roles. Because the alliance is in majority in the House, the UML’s candidate is certain to win.
In this context, both Bishwakarma and Gurung have expressed their desire to be the speaker and communicated it with the party chairman KP Sharma Oli. Apparently, whoever gets Oli’s nod can become the ruling alliance’s official candidate.
Former speaker and a confidant of Oli, Subas Chandra Nembang, is also lobbying for Bishwakarma. Sources say some people in the party wanted Nembang himself to take the same role again, but he said he did not want to take the same position several times.
Instead, he wants to be the president of the country.
It is not clear which senior leaders are supporting Gurung. A former chief minister of the Gandaki province, Gurung is the most senior leader to win the House of Representatives elections from the UML, after Oli, Nembang and Deputy Prime Minister Bishnu Paudel.
The House is required to elect the new speaker within 15 days of its first meeting, which is scheduled for January 9.