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Vidya Devi Bhandari elected as Nepal's first woman President


Vidya Devi Bhandari from the ruling CPN-UML is elected as Nepal's first woman President. Bhandari is elected as the President of Nepal after she defeated her rival from Nepali Congress by more than 100 votes.

Bhandari, 54, the Vice-president of CPN-UML and widow of late general secretary of the party Madan Bhandari, secured 327 votes against 214 votes of her rival Veteran Nepali Congress leader Kul Bahadur Gurung. With the promulgation of the Constitution on September 20, 2015, it was required to elect a new President within a month of the commencement of the Parliament session.

She was supported by 12 ruling parties including the third and fourth largest parties - UCPN (Maoist) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N). She succeeds incumbent Ram Baran Yadav who was elected as the country's first President in 2008 after Nepal was declared a Republic following the abolition of a 240-year-old monarchy.

• Bhandari began her political career with a leftist student movement in 1979.

• Bhandari served as a Member of the Parliament for a year.

• She won two subsequent parliamentary elections in 1994 and 1999.

• She was also a member of the Interim Parliament formed after the 2006 Janaandolan II.

• She had served as the country's first woman Defence Minister in the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government from May 25, 2009 until February 6, 2011.

• The Nepalese constitution says women need to be included in all government committees and assemblies including parliament and state assemblies.