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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.

Background

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.

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Cyril Ramaphosa sworn in as new President of South Africa

Cyril Ramaphosa, head of ruling African National Congress (ANC) has sworn in as new President of South Africa. He was elected as new president by the ruling party politicians dominating 400-member parliament after the resignation of scam-tainted Jacob Zuma. He will have remaining one year term of his predecessor. Prior to this, he was deputy President since 2014.

Cyril Ramaphosa

He was born in Soweto, Johannesburg, in 1952. He was detained in 1974 and 1976 for anti-apartheid activities.

He had launched the National Union of Mineworkers, largest workers union in South Africa in 1982. He was Chairman of the National Reception Committee which prepared for Nelson Mandela’s release from prison in 1990

In 1994, he became MP and chairman of constitutional assembly. He had moved full-time into business in 1997, becoming one of South Africa’s richest businessmen. He was on Lonmin board during 2012 Marikana massacre. He was elected ANC leader in 2017.

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