Bidya Devi Bhandari elected first woman President of Nepal (Watch video)CPN-UML leader Bidya Devi Bhandari has been elected the first woman president of Nepal, securing 327 votes in the parliamentary election held on Wednesday.
CPN-UML leader Bidya Devi Bhandari has been elected the first woman president of Nepal, securing 327 votes in the election held at Legislature-Parliament in Nayabaneshwor, Kathmandu on Wednesday.
House Speaker Onsari Gharti announced Bidya’s victory as the new president of Nepal. Bhandari’s rival candidate Nepali Congress leader Kul Bahadur Gurung secured 214 votes.
Speaker Onsari Gharti announced the poll results in the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament held following the completion of vote count. The announcement of presidential election was made as per Clause 3 of Article 297 of the Nepal's Constitution. The Speaker congratulated Bhandari on behalf of the Parliament and personally on her election to the post of new President of the country.
Out of total 597 lawmakers, 549 lawmakers took part in the voting held at the parliament earlier in the day, while 48 voters remained absent. Out of total 549 votes cast, eight were deemed invalid.
Ruling CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist), Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, ML, and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik, among other political parties, supported Bhandari in the election. According to constitutional provision, a candidate securing a majority of the total number of lawmakers would eb elected as the president.
The lawmakers of Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha boycotted the election.
The election that began at 11:00 am at the Lhotse Hall of Legislature- Parliament Building ran until 14: 00 pm.
Born in June, 1961, in Manebhanjyang of Bhojpur, Bhandari had joined student politics in her early young age.
Bhandari, wife of charismatic communist leader Madan Bhandari, was active in politics since her school days. She, however, came to limelight after untimely demise of her husband in a road accident.
She was elected twice in parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999 defeating the then Prime Minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Damanath Dhungana respectively.
Bidhya, however, lost during the 2008 Constituent Assembly (CA) poll. She held the post of Defence Minister in Madhav Kumar Nepal led Cabinet. The party elected her under the proportional electoral system in the second CA elections in 2013.
According to the details provided by the CPN-UML, Bhandari joined politics as an activist of then Youth League of CPN (ML) in 2035 BS, from Bhojpur. Bhandari played a role as an In-charge for Eastern Zone Committee of ANNFSU from 2036 to 2044 BS.
Her active political journey, however, started when she received party membership from the then CPN (ML) in 2037. After completing her school level study, Bhandari was enrolled in Mahendra Morang Adrsha Multiple Campus where she was elected as a Treasurer for Federation of Students’ Union (FSU).
Also, she played a pivotal role as a chairperson of women's wing of GEFONT in 2050BS to 2054 BS before being elected as UML central committee member in 2054 BS.
Her influence in the party remained dominant when she was elected as Vice-chairperson of the party in the party’s eight general convention held in Butwal. Bhandari, who retained her vice-chairperson position in the party’s general convention, is considered as one of the confidant leaders of party Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli.