Kathmandu: Veteran Nepali Congress leader
Sushil Koirala was today elected President of the country`s
oldest Democratic Party, defeating his nearest rival and ex-
Premier Sher Bahadur Deuba by a margin of 335 votes, shortly
before he was admitted to hospital for treatment of pneumonia.
72-year-old Koirala, who had been functioning as acting
President of the party following the demise of his uncle
Girija Prasad Koirala in March, bagged 1,652 against Deuba`s
1,317, out of over 3,000 ballots cast.
Bhim Bahadur Tamang stood third with 78 votes following
the five-day national general convention (NGC) of the party
here. To win, a candidate needed at least 1,533 votes.
The party`s election committee, headed by Radheshyam
Adhikari, announced the result at 3:30 am local time.
The election committee said 20 NGC representatives
abstained from voting while 15 of the total votes cast were
Koirala was elected for a four-year term, while the
outcome of voting for other key party posts, including General
Secretary, Treasure and central members, was awaited.
Bimalendra Nidhi and Prakash Man Singh were the main
contenders for the post of General Secretary while Chitra
Lekha Yadav and Padma Narayan Chaudhari were vying for the
More than 350 candidates contested the elections for 64
Just hours after his election as party President, Koirala
was admitted to Teaching Hospital at Maharajgunj as he was
suffering from pneumonia. However, he has no other
health-related complications, according to party sources.
Thousands of party workers and well wishers had reached
his residence at Buddhanagar early this morning to greet him
after he was elected to the top post.
Koirala never held any official position during his five
decade-long political career and always remained close to his
uncle and former premier Girija Prasad Koirala.
"It is the victory of committed persons in the party. It
will move ahead united and disciplined. Sher Bahadur Deuba has
his own position in the party and he will remain in a
dignified stature in the party," senior NC leader Ram Chandra
Paudel, who was the party`s prime ministerial candidate in the
seven rounds of polls held in Parliament so far," was quoted
as saying by `The Himalayan Times`.
This was the first general convention of the party after
the unification of Nepali Congress (Democratic) and Nepali
Congress on September 25, 2007.