* Veteran Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel has been elected the Himalayan nation’s third president since a centuries-old monarchy was abolished in 2008.
* In the two-man race for the largely ceremonial position, the 78-year-old Paudel secured 33,802 votes. His rival, Subash Chandra Nembang, received 15,518 votes, Nepali media reported on Thursday (9th March 2023).
* Paudel, a former speaker, has been a six-time lawmaker and has held a ministerial position five times, including interior ministry.
* He began his political career as a student leader during the decades-long partyless Panchayat system that lasted to 1990. He was imprisoned while fighting against the former king’s rule.
* The vote comes following a dramatic split in the communist-dominated governing coalition headed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a former Maoist rebel chief.
* The tenure of the outgoing president, Bidya Devi Bhandari, ends on March 12.
* The president is elected by an electoral college comprising of two houses of federal parliament and seven provincial legislators. Nepal is a parliamentary democracy with a ceremonial president as head of the state, but during times of political crisis, the president can play a key function in government formation.
* At least 831 votes were cast in the presidential election out of the 881 eligible votes. The vote weightage of a member of the federal parliament is 79 while it is 48 for a provincial assembly member..
Source : Aljazeera