Nepal's major parties vie for the post of President

Nepal's new president will be elected tomorrow.

Kathmandu: Nepal's major political parties, including the ruling CPN-UML, are contesting for the post of the country's new President to be elected tomorrow, after failing to meet the deadline to come up with a consensus candidate.

 The Nepali Congress party, the main opposition, has picked up its veteran leader Kul Bahadur Gurung as the candidate for President, whereas CPN-UML has named senior leader Vidya Devi Bhandari for the post.

 Three candidates have filed nomination papers for the post today.

 Besides Gurung and Bhandari, Narayan Maharjan of Nepal Workers and Peasants' Party has also filed nomination papers for the top post.

 The final list of candidates will be published tomorrow morning, Parliament officials said.
 Gurung, is the former General Secretary of the party and also chaired the first meeting of the first Constituent Assembly (CA) as its senior-most member.

 The CA chaired by Gurung had abolished 240-year-old institution of monarchy through majority voting on May 28, 2008.

 Madhesi leader of the Nepali Congress Amiya Kumar Yadav has been named as the candidate for Vice-President.

 The election for the post of the president will take place tomorrow, whereas the election for the post of Vice-president has been re-scheduled for Saturday, officials said.

 Bhandari is the Vice-president of CPN-UML and widow of late general secretary of the party Madan Bhandari.

 Ruling alliance UCPN-Maoist and some other fringe parties have assured to back Bhandari for the post of President.

 The ruling alliance has picked up former guerilla commander Nanda Kishor Pun 'Pasang' belonging to the Unified CPN-Maoist as the candidate for Vice-president.

 The new president will succeed incumbent President Ram Baran Yadav who was elected as the first president of Nepal in 2008 after the country was declared a republic.

 With the promulgation of the Constitution on September 20, it was required to elect a new Nepal President within a month of the commencement of the Parliament session.

 As per the schedule finalised by Parliament, the political parties were given a deadline till Oct 25 to come up with consensus candidates for the posts of President and Vice president, which they were unable to.

 The election comes even as the new Constitution is being opposed by Madhesi groups. The agitating Madhesi Front claims that the Constitution does not guarantee enough rights and representation to the Madhesi and Tharu communities residing in southern Nepal.

 Madhesis are Indian-origin inhabitants who are opposed to splitting Nepal into seven provinces.
 At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters.

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