President Bhandari re-elected to 2nd term of office

Gopal Prasad Parajuli

In October 2015, Bhandari succeeded Nepal's first President Ram Baran Yadav amidst protests over the newly-promulgated Constitution.

According to the figures released by the Election Commission, her rival, Laxmi Rai, who was fielded by the opposition Nepali Congress, was defeated with a wide margin.

President Bidya Bhandari got re-elected on Tuesday as the Head of the State, but the euphoria with which Nepalis celebrated her emergence as the country's first female President two years ago is somewhat muted.

An electoral college, including members of parliament and provincial assemblies, will vote in the election.

She was the candidate of the ruling Left Alliance and was supported by two major Madhesi parties.

Nepal held elections for its national parliament and provincial assemblies in November and December past year.

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She wielded considerable influence in the CPN-UML, one of the constituents of the Left Alliance, and was elected vice-chairperson of the party in its eighth general convention held in Butwal. Meanwhile, the counting of votes started at 4:00 pm following the conclusion of ballot casting. However, the vote weightage of the lawmakers from the adjacent parliaments is different.

President Bhandari received 39,275 votes, while NC lawmaker Rai received 11,730 votes.

Out of the 334 federal parliament members, 326 members cast their votes in the election.

Her first five years in office have been largely uncontroversial.

There are also 59 members of the National Assembly who can vote, minus three nominees of the National Assembly whose appointments have been challenged at the Supreme Court.

Bhandari, 56, will be sworn in by the country's chief justice on Wednesday.

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