|Kathmandu, July 21 – Nepali congress leader Dr Ram Baran Yadav has been elected the country’s first president.
According to a source close to the office of election officer, Yadav secured 308 votes defeating Maoist candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh. Of 594 members of the CA, 590 members voted today in a run-off to elect the country’s first president. Sources said that Singh got only 282 votes. The chair of the CA will make formal announcement shortly.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal cast their votes in the presidential run-off at 9:45 am.
Prachanda, in a pensive mood, told journalists, “The result of the president’s election will determine whether the new government will be formed under the leadership of the CPN-Maoist or not.”
Among the heavyweights of the parties, general secretary of the CPN-UML Jhala Nath Khanal cast vote first at 8:45 am.
After voting, Khanal said, “Nepali Congress candidate Dr. Ram Baran Yadav is sure to win the president’s re-polling.” “No one can break up the alliance among the three parties.”
Hugging presidential candidate Dr. Yadav, Khanal said, “The CPN-Maoist betrayed the CPN-UML.”
Similarly, president of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) Upendra Yadav cast vote at 9:30 am.
Yadav, who was waiting his turn to cast vote, said that the MJF will not betray the three-party consensus.
Chairman of the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party (NWPP) Narayan Man Bijukchhe, whose party stayed out of Sunday’s election, cast vote at 9:45 am.
Bijukchhe said he took part in the re-polling to give continuity to the politics of consensus and agreement.
Though the re-polling kicked off at 8:15 am, constituent assembly members of the CPN-Maoist did not stay in queue until 8:45 am. Later, they cast votes after Maoist leader Agni Sapkota requested them to do so.
226 members of the Maoists, 114 of NC, 108 of UML, 52 of MJF, 21 of TMDP, 9 of CPN (ML), 8 of People’s Front Nepal, 9 of Sadbhavana Party, 5 of CPN (Unified), 4 of Rastriya Janamorcha, 5 of NWPP, 8 of RPP, each 3 of RJP and NSP(A) and each 2 of Janamukti Party, Janata Dal and Federal Democratic Forum, each one CA member of Socialist Democratic Party, Dalit Indigenous, Nepal Pariwar Dal, Newa Rastriya Party, Chure Bhavar Rastriya Ekta Party, and two independent CA members took part in voting. RPP-Nepal and CPN (United) boycotted the re-polling.
The presidential election had to be re-scheduled for today after NC leader Dr Ram Baran Yadav, backed by the NC, CPN-UML and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF), and Maoist candidate Ramraja Prasad Singh backed by Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party failed to secure a majority vote out of the existing 594 Constituent Assembly members during the first election on July 19. However, MJF leader Parmananda Jha won country’s first vice president securing 305 votes.