The 85-year-old, elected to the assembly through the proportional representation (PR) system, is the president of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party.

Thapa will be administered the oath of office by President Ram Baran Yadav. Other assembly members will be sworn in by Thapa on January 21, according to sources at the President's Office.

Thapa will also chair the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly, which also serves as the Parliament.

There is a tradition in Nepal of the first meeting of a new parliament being chaired by the oldest member.

There were debates for nearly two weeks as to whether the Head of the Council of Ministers or the President would call the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly.

However, the political parties had agreed that the head of the government, Khil Raj Regmi, would call the meeting as ordered by the President.

Regmi has summoned the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly for January 22.

Thapa will remain as the Speaker of the Parliament or the Chairman of the Constituent Assembly until a new chairman is elected.

Under the PR system, 335 members of the 601-seat assembly are chosen according to the proportion of votes secured by political parties in the elections.


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