Kathmandu : Nepal’s first woman president Bidya Devi Bhandari was on Tuesday relected for a second term in office with an overwhelming majority.
Incumbent President Bhandari, the Left alliance’s candidate, was elected with more than a two-thirds majority as she defeated her Nepali Congress (NC) rival Kumari Laxmi Rai in the presidential election.
Bhandari secured 39,275 votes while the NC’s Rai garnered 11,730 votes, Election Commission spokesperson Nawaraj Dhakal said.
Bhandari, 56, won since her nomination was backed by the ruling Left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Centre), the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and other fringe parties.
She became Nepal’s first woman president in 2015.
Bhandari was elected twice in parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999. 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.
With Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal and other fringe parties also deciding to support Bhandari, she was virtually assured of getting the minimum 26,921 votes needed for her re-election.
An electoral college, including members of parliament and provincial assemblies, will vote in the election.