Nepal: Ram Chandra Paudel was elected the new President of Nepal on Thursday. According to the Election Commission of Nepal, Poudel secured 33 thousand 8 hundred 2 electoral votes, while his rival Subhash Chandra Nembwang secured 15 thousand 5 hundred 18 electoral votes.
Paudel, a common candidate of a coalition of eight parties, including the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Centre) led by Prime Minister ‘Prachanda’, received the votes of 214 members of parliament and 352 provincial assemblies. With the support of eight political parties, 78-year-old Poudel’s victory was certain. His opponent, Subas Chandra Nebamang, was supported by the CPN-UML led by former prime minister KP Sharma.
This is the third presidential election in Nepal since it became a republic in 2008. The tenure of the current President Bidya Devi Bhandari will end on March 12.
Who is Ram Chandra Paudel?
Born on October 14, 1944 in Bahunpokhri to a middle-class farmer family, Paudel joined politics at the age of 16. In 1970, he became a founding central member of the Nepali Students Union, the student wing of the Nepali Congress.
Paudel was appointed Vice President of the Nepali Congress (banned) Tanhu District Committee in 1980. He was promoted to the party’s Central Working Committee in 1987 and headed its propaganda committee. He became General Secretary in 2005, Vice President in 2007 and Acting President of the party in 2015.
He played an active role in the Satyagraha of 1985, Jan Andolan Part I of 1990 and Jan Andolan Part II of 2006. He spent 12 years in jail fighting against autocratic Panchayat rule. Paudel was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1991 from Tanhu District. Thereafter, he was elected from Tanhu for six consecutive terms.
He was appointed Minister of Local Development in May 1991 and became Minister of Agriculture in 1992. Podell served as chairman from December 1994 to March 1999. He served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Information and Communications from 1999 to 2002. Served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Peace and Reconstruction from 2007 to 2008. He was elected Leader of the Nepali Congress Parliamentary Party from 2008 to 2013 and the Leader of the Main Opposition in Parliament.
He was awarded the ‘Order of the Rising Sun’ award by the Government of Japan in 2020. He has written more than a dozen books mainly about democracy, socialism and agriculture. He has also written dozens of articles in various newspapers and worked as a journalist for a brief period. Poudel holds a master’s degree in arts with Nepali language as a major subject and also completed a bachelor’s degree in Shastri or Sanskrit. He is married to Sabita Paudel and they have four daughters and a son.