Jha becomes Nepal’s first vice president; re-polling for president set for Monday

Nepal's first vice president Paramananda Jha

The meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) held Saturday night officially declared that Paramananda Jha has become Nepal’s first vice president, winning the election held today. He was a Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) candidate.

CA chairman Kul Bahadur Gurung announced that Jha has been elected vice president bagging 305 votes, beating his nearest rival Shanta Shrestha of CPN (Maoist) who garnered 243 votes.

However, two presidential frontrunners – Dr Ram Baran Yadav of Nepali Congress and Maoist-backed candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh – failed to gain 298 votes needed to be elected to the post.

Gurung announced that Dr Yadav bagged 283 votes while Singh ended up with 270 votes. Twenty-four votes were invalid.

With no presidential candidate mustering majority votes, there will be re-election for the president. Gurung said the re-election will be held on Monday (July 21).

578 out of 594 CA members registered in the voter list had cast their votes.

Five fringe parties including Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal), Rastriya Janamorcha and CPN (Unified) boycotted the voting. nepalnews.com mk/sd July 19 08