Kathmandu, March 13: Senior Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel on Monday took the oath of office and secrecy as Nepal’s third President.
At a special ceremony at Sheetal Niwas, the President’s Office, Acting Chief Justice Hari Krishna Karki administered the oath to 78-year-old Paudel.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire, National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina and other high-ranking government officials were also present on the occasion. Nepali Congress senior leader Paudel was elected the third President of the country on Thursday, defeating Subas Chandra Nembang of the CPN- UML.
Paudel had support from eight political parties. Out of 52,628 weightage-based votes, Paudel secured 33,802 while Nembang got 15,518 votes.
Former Speaker and multiple-time minister, President Paudel has traversed a long politi- cal journey to make it to the country’s highest state position. He spent over a decade in jail. He was a lawmaker six times, a minister five times, and Speaker for one term.
This is the third presi- dential election in Nepal since the country became a republic in 2008. Paudel replaces Bidya Devi Bhandari, whose term ended on March 12. The total number of voters for the election of the President is 882, consisting of 332 Members of the Parliament and 550 members of the provincial assemblies of the seven provinces.
The outcome of the Presidential election comes as a relief for the government headed by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ as former premier KP Sharma Oli-led CPN-UML withdrew its support to his government following a rift over backing Paudel for the presidential poll.
The term of office of the President will be five years from the date of election and an individual can be elected for the post for only two terms.