Bidya Devi Bhandari: Nepal’s 1st woman President re-elected for 2nd term
Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari (56) was relected for second term in office. In the presidential election, she defeated Nepali Congress (NC) leader Kumari Laxmi Rai with overwhelming majority. Ms. Bhandari was elected with more than a two-thirds majority after she secured 39,275 votes while the Nepali Congress’s Ms. Rai garnered 11,730 votes.
President of Nepal is ceremonial head of state, under the new Republican Federal Constitution of Nepal. The electoral college for presidential election comprised of members of Parliament and Provincial Assemblies. Ms. Bhandari’s nomination for re-election was backed by ruling Left alliance of CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), Sanghiya Samajbai Forum-Nepal and other fringe parties. ith 148 lawmakers in Federal Parliament and 243 in Provincial Assemblies, the CPN-UML commanded total vote of 23,356. Opposition NC having 76 seats in parliament and 113 in provincial assemblies, had total votes of 11,428.
Bidya Devi Bhandari
She was born on June 1961 in Bhojpur, Nepal. She became Nepal’s first woman President in 2015. Prior to getting elected, she was deputy leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist)-CPN-UML party led by incumbent Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli. She was elected twice in parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999. Earlier she had served as Defence Minister of the country and has been an active campaigner for women’s rights.