Nepali MPs vote to elect new president

KATHMANDU: Nepalese lawmakers began voting on Thursday to elect a new president, the outcome of which could impact stability of government led by prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”.
Ram Chandra Poudel du Nepali Congress and Subash Chandra Nembang of CPN-UML vying for the top job.
Voting started at 10 a.m. local time at New Baneshwar headquarters parliament building here.
The term of the current president, Bidya Devi Bhandariwill end on March 12.
The electoral commission will start counting the votes at 4 p.m. and announce the results at 7 p.m.
Nepal’s Election Commission said on Wednesday that all preparations for the full-scale election were complete.
The presidential election is a face-off between two former Speakers of the House of Representatives — Paula candidate backed by the eight-party alliance led by Prime Minister Prachanda, and Nembang of the CPN-UML.
Paudel, 78, and Nembang, 69, submitted their candidacies last month.
Former Prime Minister KP Sharma, led by CPN-UML, Nepal’s second largest party in parliament, has withdrawn his support for the government led by Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’ following a rift over support from Paudel for the presidential election.
With the support of eight political parties, Paudel’s victory in the presidential election is almost certain.
The total number of voters for the election of the President is 882, including 332 members of parliament and 550 members of the provincial assemblies from the seven provinces.
The election of the President is done on the basis of a weighted voting system.
The weight of the vote of a federal deputy is 79 while that of a provincial deputy is 48.
The term of the President will be five years from the date of election and a person can only be elected to this position for two terms.


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