Kathmandu, Mar. 9: The third election to the presidential post following the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015 is taking place on Thursday.
The presidential election is going to be held just four days before the termination of the President’s tenure. The five-year term of the incumbent President will end on March 13. The current President Bidya Devi Bhandari was re-elected to the post on March 13, 2018.
The Election Commission has completed all the preparations for the presidential election.
Nepali Congress’s Ram Chandra Paudel and CPN-UML’s Subash Chandra Nembang are in the presidential race.
According to the Election Commission, the voting will be held from 10 am to 3 pm at the Lhotse Hall in New Baneshwor-based parliament building.
Assistant election officer Amrita Kumari Sharma said two voting centres have been set up for the voting.
“Two separate voting centres, one for the members of the federal parliament and another for the members of the seven provincial assemblies, have been arranged,” said Sharma.
Seven staffs have been deployed at each voting centre, while the security personnel have been deployed as per the requirement, she added.
Sharma further added that voters would not be allowed to carry devices to the voting centres, adding, “Carrying devices like mobile phone and camera into the polling centre is prohibited by the law.”
According to her, the office plans to count the votes as soon as the voting is over and announce the final result by 7pm.
EC’s assistant spokesperson Surya Prasad Aryal said the EC had plans to start vote counting at 4pm at Annapurna Sky Hall in the parliament building. “The final result of the election will be declared by 7 pm,” he added.
The presidential election is held based on a weighted voting system. As per the current population of the country, the weightage of each member of federal parliament is 79 and that of a provincial assembly member is 48.
Out of 884 members, only 881 members, including 332 members of the federal parliament and 550 of seven provincial assemblies, are enlisted in the final voters’ list published by the EC.
There are 334 seats in the federal parliament, including 275 members of the House of Representatives and 59 of the National Assembly. However, out of 334 only 332 have been listed in the voters’ list as one seat of HoR is vacant while one lawmaker is suspended earlier.
However, another HoR member of Janata Samajwadi Party, Shahnaz Rahman, died after the EC published the final list. This means there are only 331 voters for the presidential election, said Sharma.
As per the constitutional provision, a candidate for the post of President must secure 50 per cent (26,314 weightage of votes) of the total weightage of 52,628 votes in the Electoral College.
The EC has made it mandatory for the voters of the presidential and vice presidential elections to carry a valid identity card to cast their vote.
Likewise, the election of the vice president has been slated for March 17. Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun was re-elected to the post on March 18, 2018.