Kathmandu: The voting under the election to the President has concluded. The voting took place at the separate voting centres for the federal parliament members and the provincial assembly members set up at Lhotse Hall of the Federal Parliament Building at New Baneshwor today. The voting was held from 10 am to 3pm.
The counting of votes has started a while ago and the results would be announced today itself, the Election Commission said. Three hundred and thirteen members of the federal parliament and 518 members of the provincial assemblies cast their votes in the Presidential election today.
Fifteen federal parliament members including 14 of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and one from the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) remained neutral and did not vote for any of the two candidates.
Six federal parliament lawmakers did not take part in the voting. They are Chandra Bhandari who is undergoing health treatment in India, Barshaman Pun who is under medical treatment in China, Laxmi Koiri who has a court case against him, Tek Bahadur Gurung who has been suspended, Rabi Lamichhane whose parliamentary seat has fallen vacant after his removal from the post and Sahanaz Rahman who passed away.
Similarly, among the provincial assembly members who were not present in the voting, 28 are from RPP, three from the NWPP who remained neutral and one from the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal. Nepali Congress senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel and CPN (UML) Vice-chair Subas Chandra Nembang are in the race for the third President of republic Nepal. Both of them are the former Speakers.
Poudel is the common candidate of the Nepali Congress, the CPN (Maoist Centre), the CPN (Unified Socialist), the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal, the Loktantrik Samajbadi Party Nepal, Janamat Party, Nagarik Unmukti Party, Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Samajbadi Party.
The Electoral College for the election of the President 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.