Bhandari, Nepal’s 1st female President, re-elected for 2nd term

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New Delhi: Nepal’s first woman president Bidya Devi Bhandari was today re-elected for a second term in office.

Incumbent President Bidya Devi Bhandari emerged victorious with an overwhelming majority and was re-elected for second term. She defeated Nepali Congress leader Kumari Laxmi Rai with an overwhelming majority in the presidential election.

Bhandari, who was backed by the ruling Communist bloc, was widely expected to defeat her sole opponent.

Her first five years in office have been largely uncontroversial. She became Nepal’s first woman president in 2015.

The Numbers game

With 148 lawmakers in the Federal Parliament and 243 in Provincial Assemblies, the CPN-UML commands a total vote of 23,356.

CPN (Maoist Centre) has 65 lawmakers in parliament and 108 in provincial assemblies, which account for 10,319 votes.

The Nepali Congress, which has 76 seats in parliament and 113 in provincial assemblies, has a total vote of 11,428.

As Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and other fringe parties also deciding to support Bhandari, she could easily garner 26,921 votes for her re-election.

Bhandari’s foray into Nepal politics

The 56-year-old took up politics in her teens, joining the fight to overturn the monarchy’s centuries-long rule and later marrying a fellow communist, Madan Bhandari.

It was after her husband’s death in a mysterious car accident in 1993 that the mother of two became a prominent voice, riding a wave of sympathy to win a seat in parliament.

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