CPN standing committee member Agni Sapkota has been elected speaker on Sunday.
Deputy parliamentary party leader of ruling CPN Subas Chandra Nembang proposed that Sapkota be made speaker during the House of Representatives (HoR) on Sunday. The proposal was supported by Dev Gurung and Onsari Gharti of CPN, and Laxman Lal Karna of Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJP).
The main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) and another opposition party Socialist Party Nepal did not field candidate for the post.
Senior-most HoR member Mahantha Thakur, who has been chairing the House meeting after Deputy Speaker Shiva Maya Tumbahangphe's resignation, declared Sapkota elected unopposed.
The post of speaker was vacant after Krishna Bahadur Mahara resigned following rape allegation by a federal parliament secretariat staffer.
Sapkota's election as speaker has been controversial with cases charging him of murder sub judice at the Supreme Court (SC).
Senior advocate Dinesh Tripathi filed a writ petition on Friday to stop the process of making murder accused Sapkota the speaker.
Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana on Sunday assigned the petition to the bench of Justice Hari Phuyal but Phuyal recused himself from the hearing citing conflict of interest pointing he had argued in the petition filed by Sushil Pyakurel and others against Sapkota in the past.
Sapkota has been accused of abduction and murder of chairman of the management committee of Sri Krishna Secondary School of Tapcha, Kavre Arjun Bahadur Lama during the Maoist insurgency.
Lama was murdered after abduction on April 29, 2005. His body was recovered two months later from Budhakhani in Kavre where he was buried. The constitutional bench of the SC is overseeing the case.
Lama's wife Purni Maya Lama had filed a case with the District Administration Office identifying Sapkota and Surya Man Dong, who later became state minister, of being involved in her husband's murder.
The police had sent the complaint to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Purni Maya had then moved the SC against the police's decision.
The constitutional bench of SC on July 10, 2019 had sought copy of the complaint filed with the TRC regarding the case.
The SC is also overseeing the case of contempt of court registered on June 20, 2011, and the writ petition filed by human rights activist Sushil Pyakurel on April 8, 2016 pointing that the court's mandamus has not been implemented along with the murder case filed by Purni Maya against Sapkota.
The SC on July 10, 2019 had started to hear these petitions together with the murder case.
Human rights institutions had also moved the SC demanding revocation of Sapkota's appointment as minister in the Baburam Bhattarai Cabinet.
The SC hearing the petition had pointed that an interim order need not be issued to stop appointment in public position merely due to filing of a complaint, and issued a mandamus ordering initiation of investigation and asking the court be informed about that.