Most of the newly elected members of the House of Representatives in Nepal took the oath of office on Thursday.
Pashupati Shamsher Rana from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party administered the oath of office and secrecy to 257 lawmakers as the eldest member of the lower house. As many as 17 lawmakers were absent due to various reasons, Xinhua news agency reported.
“Those who were absent today will receive the oath later,” Rojnath Pandey, spokesperson for the federal parliament secretariat, told the news agency.
Eighty-one-year-old Rana was sworn in by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Wednesday.
As many as 12 parties have representatives in the 275-strong lower house, but none has garnered a majority of seats.
Rana is acting as the speaker until a new speaker is elected within 15 days after the first session is called as per the constitution of Nepal.
The major parties have been negotiating over the formation of a new coalition government, and President Bhandari has set Dec. 25 as the deadline.