Vice-chairperson of Nepal’s ruling Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist Bidhya Bhandari could become the Himalayan nation’s first woman head of state.
The 54-year-old widow of popular communist leader Madan Bhandari heads the list of three candidates who filed their nominations on Tuesday. The election for the president’s post will be held on Wednesday.
Kul Bahadur Gurung of Nepali Congress and Narayan Maharjan of Nepal Workers Peasants Party are the two other candidates in fray.
But with support from coalition partners Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik, Bhadari’s win is almost certain.
A candidate needs 299 votes to win and Bhandari who has support of more than 300 lawmakers from nearly dozen parties is expected to sail through.
If elected, Bhandari will replace Nepal’s first President, Ram Baran Yadav, who was elected in 2008 after a 10-year-long civil war that replaced the country’s 240-year-old monarchy.
Lawmakers from four Madhesi parties, who are protesting against the new constitution, have stated that they would abstain from Wednesday’s election.
Election to the post of vice-President which was also to take place together has been postponed till Saturday.