Nepal Parliament Re-Elect Bidhya Bhandari As President

Nepal president Bidhya Bhandari

Incumbent President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Nepali Congress leader Kumari Laxmi Rai are vying for the post of president in today's election. Constitution experts and analysts say her inability to be a unifying figure could hurt not just the presidential institution, but also the republic that is still in its infancy.

As Nepal's political map was being redrawn after the end of the brutal Maoist insurgency in 2006 and overthrow of the king two years later, Bhandari campaigned hard to bring woman's voices to parliament. Bhandari's first term as the President of Nepal started in 2015.

Nabaraj Dhakal, spokesperson at the Election Commission, said out of 884 members of the Electoral College 879 were eligible voters.

Parliamentarians Yubaraj Khatiwada, Bimala Poudel and Ram Narayan Bidari could not cast their votes as their names were not enlisted in for voting.

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On Tuesday, President Bhandari got elected for a second term. The vote weightage of lawmaker of Federal Parliament is 79, whereas it is 48 of the lawmakers from the Provincial Council.

Bhandari, who was backed by the ruling Communist bloc, was widely expected to defeat her sole opponent. The Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) has a total of 148 lawmakers in National Assembly and House of Representative or the Federal Assembly whereas a total of 243 are in Provincial Councils.

With Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and other fringe parties also deciding to support Bhandari, she was virtually assured of getting the minimum 26,921 votes needed for her re-election. The Nepali Congress is left behind with 11,428 vote weightage and the RJP-N and the FSF-N has vote weightage of 2,845 and 3,198 vote weightage.

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