Nepal to elect new president on Wednesday

Kathmandu, Oct 27 (IANS) Nepal will on Wednesday elect a new president as mandated by the country’s 2015 Constitution which was promulgated last month.

This is the second election for the office of the head of state after Nepal embarked on the path of republicanism in 2008. Ram Baran Yadav was elected as the president in 2008 after elections to the first Constituent Assembly.

Nepal’s Legislature is holding the election to the highest post of the country after political parties missed the deadline to pick a candidate commanding unanimous support.

The Legislature has to now elect a new president and vice president in line with the stipulation laid down by the country’s new constitution.

For the election, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) vice chairperson Vidya Bhandari on Tuesday filed candidacy for the election as a ruling party nominee.

Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal proposed Bhandari’s name for the election while nine others, including Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal chairman Kamal Thapa and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik chairman Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, seconded it.

If Bhandari is elected, she would be the first woman president in Nepal’s history.

“My candidacy is for national sovereignty, unity and prosperity,” she said after filing her nomination.

Vidya Bhandari is the widow of late Communist leader Madan Bhandari who was killed in a yet unexplained road accident in 1991.

Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Dahal and leaders of UML’s coalition partners had reached parliament to register Bhandari’s candidacy.

UCPN (Maoist) has announced the candidacy of Nanda Kishor Pun, former chief commander of the erstwhile People’s Liberation Army, for the post of vice president.

From the opposition benches, Kul Bahadur Gurung of the Nepali Congress has filed candidacy for the president’s post while Amiya Kumar Yadav is the vice presidential nominee for the opposition front.

Representing the fringe parties, Nepal Workers Peasants Party (NWPP) has picked Narayan Maharjan — a central member of the party — to contest in Wednesday’s presidential poll.

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