By Our Reporter
President Bidya Devi Bhandari has been re-elected for the second term.
Presidential candidate of the Left Alliance Bhandrai defeated Nepali Congress backed Kumari Laxmi Rai with a big margin in the election held on Tuesday.
Bhandari garnered 39,275 votes while Rai received 11,730 votes.
According to Election Commission, Bhandari garnered more than two-thirds of the valid votes.
Bhandari and Rai were in the election fray.
She also took the oath of office and secrecy from the Chief Justice on Wednesday.
As per the Constitution of Nepal, the term of the President shall be of five years and maximum for two terms.
CPN-UML vice chair and candidate Bhandari was elected as the first woman President of the country for the first time by defeating NC’s senior leader Kul Bahadur Gurung in October 2015.
Members of the Federal Parliament (National Assembly and the House of Representatives) and State Assemblies are the voters in the presidential election.
As the second President of Nepal, Bhandari had avoided controversies. However, when she acted as an UML leader and delayed in authenticating the National Assembly Election Ordinance and rejected endorsing the NA members recommended by Deuba-led government, she is likely to face criticism from NC in her second term.
Even within the UML, she failed to become unanimous candidate as former UML chair and former prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal opposed her candidacy within the party. Obviously, she succeeded to be elected to the covetous post in the backing of Prime Minister K P Oli and Maoist chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Out of the 334 federal parliament members, 326 members cast their votes in the election. Likewise, 549 provincial assembly members were eligible to exercise their franchise in the presidential election.
Altogether 862 voters cast their votes in the election today while 18 members of the federal and provincial assemblies were absent in the voting.
The absentees from the Federal Parliament were Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Jitendra Narayan Dev, Prem Suwal, Ramesh Yadav and Resham Lal Chaudhary.
Thirteen absentees from the State Assemblies were Krishna Bahadur Chaudhary, Dhana Maya Lama Pokharel, Prahlad Giri, Prem Tamang, Biraj Bhakta Shrestha, Manish Kumar Suman, Ramesh Poudel, Dilu Panta, Shova Shakya, Surendra Gosain, Hari Sharan Acharya, Him Bahadur Shahi and Sirjana Sainju.
Likewise, newly appointed National Assembly members Dr Yubaraj Khatiwada, Ram Narayan Bidari and Bimala Rai Poudel had not their names in the voters’ list.