Nepal’s first woman President Bidya Devi Bhandari has been re-elected for a second term with a huge majority.
President Bhandari, the Left alliance’s candidate, defeated her Nepali Congress rival Kumari Laxmi Rai, with a more than two-thirds majority. The alliance dominated the recent parliamentary and provincial assembly elections.
Bhandari, 56, became the Himalayan nation’s first woman President in 2015, a largely ceremonial role. She was earlier elected twice to Parliament in 1994 and 1999. Bhandari secured over 74 percent votes to be re-elected, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The Electoral College comprising members of Federal Parliament and provincial assemblies voted in the presidential election. President Bhandari rose to prominence following the death of her husband in an accident in 1993. She won the by-election from Kathmandu-1 defeating former prime minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai of Nepali Congress. She won two subsequent elections from Kathmandu-2 in 1994 and 1999. Before being elected President, Bhandari was Minister for Environment and Population and Minister of Defence.