KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress presidential hopeful Sher Bahadur Deuba failed to poll the mandatory 50 per cent plus one of total votes, 1575, pushing the election process to the run-off.
As the all votes were counted, Deuba garnered 1564 votes, which is just 11 short of the required 1575.
His closest rival Ram Chandra Paudel got 1160 votes.
The third contender, Krishna Prasad Sitaula, was restricted to 324 votes. Exactly 100 votes were declared invalid.
Sher Bahadur Deuba: 1564 Ram Chandra Paudel: 1160 Krishna Prasad Sitaula: 324
Total votes cast: 3148 Invalid votes: 100
Votes required to win elections: 1575 Deuba had needed more: 11
The Election Committee plans to hold the run-off poll from 10 am today. The top two candidates garnering the highest votes – Deuba and Paudel – will vie in the poll.
Now, apparently those who voted for Sitaula in the first-phase poll on Sunday will play the decisive role to decide the new party chief for next five years.
Deuba, however, had maintained constant lead from the beginning of the counting. He had over 51 per votes till around 2300 votes were counted.
As many as 3148 representatives had cast their votes in the elections held on Sunday to choose the new leadership. The vote count began after midnight only following dispute over denying voting rights to 30 general convention representatives nominated by the late party President Sushil Koirala.
The votes for the two posts of office bearers — one general secretary and treasurer each — and 61 Central Working Committee members from open and reservation categories will be counted later today. The ballot boxes were taken away from Rastriya Sabha Griha to the party’s central office in Sanepa on Monday late night.
The 12th General Convention had elected Sushil Koirala as the party’s top leader.