Bidya Devi Bhandari was on Tuesday re-elected the President of Nepal with an overwhelming majority. She has thus also set the record as the first female president of Nepal.
After the death of her firebrand communist husband Madan Bhandari in a jeep accident in 1993, she was politically groomed by UML leader KP Oli, who has just emerged as Nepal's strongest Prime Minister since 1990.
Elected as the first woman president of the country in 2015, she had presented her candidacy for the second time with the backing of the left alliance-CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre)- which holds a comfortable majority in the Federal Parliament and provincial assemblies.
'The preparations for the election of today have been completed.
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An electoral college, including members of parliament and provincial assemblies, will vote in the election.
However, the vote weightage of the lawmakers from the adjacent parliaments is different. Though the Nepali Congress led in the presidential elections with 11,428 votes from its 76 members in parliament 113 in provincial assemblies, the support of other smaller parties led to the victory of Bhandari. The combined vote weightage of the votes as per the calculations now is 26,000 and 70. President Bhandari garnered over 74 percent of the votes to be re-elected. There is discontent not just within the main opposition NC, but also within the UML - the ruling party that backed her.
The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) and the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) who went on a marathon protest demanding the amendment in the country's constitution recently, voted for President Bhandari in the elections.
Nepal held elections for its national parliament and provincial assemblies in November and December a year ago.