Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav wins Vice President raceThe Janata Samajbadi nominee beats UML’s Shakya and Janamat’s Jha to claim the second-highest state position.
Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav of the Janata Samajbadi Party has been elected as the new Vice President of Nepal.
Out of the total 52,628 weighted votes, Ram Sahay secured 30,328 while Asta Laxmi Shakya of the CPN-UML received 16,328 and Mamata Jha of the Janamat Party got 2,537 in an election held on Friday.
Fifty-two-year-old Ram Sahay garnered 58.02 percent of the votes, while his closest rival Shakya secured 31.23 percent.
Likewise, Pramila Yadav of the Janata Samajbadi Party, who had announced a withdrawal of her candidacy, got 48 weighted votes.
The voting took place from 10 am to 3 pm on Friday.
Election Officer Mahesh Sharma Paudel said the votes cast by four provincial lawmakers were invalid. A total of 311 votes from the federal lawmakers and 514 votes from the provincial assembly members were deemed valid.
Of the 882 federal and provincial lawmakers who were eligible to vote, 829 participated in the election on Thursday.
Election Officer Paudel said, “311 federal lawmakers and 518 provincial assembly members cast their votes.”
From the ruling 10-party alliance, Pramila and Ram Sahay of the Janata Samajbadi Party, and Mamata Jha of the Janamat Party had fielded their candidacies after the member parties failed to agree on a common candidate.
Shakya was the CPN-UML candidate.
Pramila, however, later announced her withdrawal from the race to support Ram Sahay of her party in the election. Despite her announcement, her candidacy had not been officially withdrawn as the election office had already published the final list of candidates before she decided to pull out.
Speaking with journalists after the election, Ram Sahay said, “I will work honestly to strengthen and promote national unity. Let the nation move ahead prosperously. I will also make efforts from my side to conclude the remaining tasks of the peace process."
The Election Commission will submit the election results to the President on Sunday.
The Rastriya Swatantra Party did not declare whom its lawmakers had voted for, but its leaders said they had a consensus to vote for Mamata Jha of the Janamat Party. “It was not a formal decision, but there was a consensus in the party to vote for Jha,” said a central committee member.
The Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Nepal Majdoor Kisaan Party abstained from voting. They had skipped last week’s presidential elections as well.
The Nepali Congress had officially decided to vote for Ram Sahay.
The Nagarik Unmukti Party, Loktantrik Samjbadi Party and the Janamat Party had forged a working alliance and fielded Jha as their common candidate, but from the votes she received, it is apparent that not all members of the alliance voted for her.
Ram Sahay’s candidacy for Vice President has long been seen as prompted by Upendra Yadav’s intent to be reelected to the Parliament.
After Ram Sahay’s election, the lawmaker position in Bara-2 will become vacant, prompting a by-election. Yadav will then contest parliamentary election from Bara-2, observers say.
Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav’s political journey
Yadav, who had until now maintained a low profile in Nepali politics, was actively engaged in the Madhesh movements.
He started his political journey in 1990 from the Nepal Sadbhawana Party.
He continued his political activities even when he was in the teaching profession between 1991 and 2008. He was the founding general secretary of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum and had an active role in the first Madhesh Movement (2007).
He got close to Upendra Yadav after joining the Madheshi Janaadhikar Forum. FromRam Sahay has since been Upendra’s trusted confidant.
He began his parliamentary career in the first Constituent Assembly in 2008. He had also strongly opposed the Interim Constitution of 2007 and was involved in burning its copies.
Ram Sahay was elected to the first Constituent Assembly in 2008 under the proportional representation system.
But he could not make it to the second Constituent Assembly in 2013 despite being on the party’s list of PR candidates.
He was elected from Bara-2 in 2017. He had served as the Minister for Forest and Environment in the former Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government.
Sahay was re-elected from Bara-2 in the November polls held last year.