New Delhi: After making 17 unsuccessful attempts to become Nepal’s Prime Minister, Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Paudel was elected as third President of the Himalayan nation on Thursday.
Paudel became the third President of Nepal by defeating his rival Subash Chandra Nembang of the CPN-UML by a margin of over 15,000 votes.
In the Presidential election, Paudel bagged 33,802 votes while his rival secured 15,518 votes.
Out of a total of 884 voters, 831 MPs and MLAs voted in the presidential election.
A veteran politician, Paudel was active in politics since the age of 16. He also took active part in the anti-monarchy movement in the country.
The 78-year-old leader spent nearly 15 years in jail in his 62-year-old political career.
The last time when the then King Gyanendra took over by ousting the elected government in 2003, Ram Chandra Paudel was arrested and jailed for about one and a half years for opposing him.
For the first time in 1991, Paudel was elected MP from Tanahu and made the local development minister. When he became MP for the second time in 1994, he was elected to the post of Speaker.
Later in 1999, Paudel took over the Home Ministry and was also elected the Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal. After being elected as an MP for six consecutive terms, he was elected as the leader of Nepali Congress’ parliamentary party during the Constituent Assembly in Nepal. However, he contested for the post of Nepal Prime Minister 17 times but failed to get elected.
This was the third presidential election in Nepal since the country became a republic in 2008.
Nepal, which had become a constitutional monarchy by 1990, got its first president in 2008, two years after the historic People’s Movement got the mandate to restore democracy. The elected Constituent Assembly adopted the interim Constitution in 2007, removing all powers of the king. Dr Ram Baran Yadav became the Republic of Nepal’s first president.