Kathmandu: Voting to elect new president has begun at the Parliament Building in New Baneshwor amid a tight security and surveillance, it has been said.
The presidential candidate Ram Chandra Paudel inaugurated voting by casting his vote. Voting that started at 10 am runs until 3 pm, said assistant returning officer Amrita Kumari Sharma.
Separate polling stations have been designated for the voters in the Lhotse chamber in the Parliament Building.
Ram Chandra Paudel from the Nepali Congress and Subash Chandra Nembang from the CPN (UML) are running for the coveted position. Paudel, former Speaker, has been supported by the recently formed nine-party alliance (NC, CPN (Maoist Centre), CPN (Unified Socialist), Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal, Loktantrik Samajwadi Party Nepal, Janamat Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party, Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Samajwadi Party). Nembang previously served as chairperson of the then Constituent Assembly.
According to the Constitution of Nepal, a president will be elected, and the president is entrusted with the responsibility to protect and abide by the constitution, and promote the national unity. The country entered the presidential system following the establishment of republic through the 2062/63 movements.
The Electoral College comprises the members of the Federal Parliament and Province Assemblies. There are a total of 882 eligible voters in the Federal Parliament (the House of Representatives and the National Assembly) and the Province Assembly (332 under the Federal Parliament and 550 under the Province Assembly). The Federal Parliament has 79 weighted votes, and the Province Assembly 48. According to the constitution, no person shall be elected to the Office of President more than twice.