Bhandari, Gurung in fray for second president of country

Kathmandu, October 27

Ruling CPN-UML Vice-chairperson Bidhya Devi Bhandari and main opposition party Nepali Congress leader Kul Bahadur Gurung are in the fray for the presidential post.

After Nepal Workers and Peasants Party candidate Krishna Maharjan withdrew his candidacy following the request of CPN-UML leaders, Bhandari and Gurung will be contesting the election scheduled for tomorrow.

UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal proposed Bhandari’s name for the post of president while leaders of coalition parters Kamal Thapa, Yogendra Chaudhary, Dipak Bohora, CP Mainali, Prem Bahadur Singh, Jayadev Joshi, Chitra Bahadur KC, Shivalal Thapa, Biswendra Paswan, Laxman Rajbanshi, Eknath Dhakal and Meghraj Nepali seconded Bhandari’s candidacy.

On the other hand, Nepali Congress leader Kul Bahadur Gurung was proposed by party General Secretary Prakash Man Singh and seconded by another General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula.

According to the Parliament Secretariat, election for president will be held from 11:00am till 2:00pm tomorrow. The election committee led by General Secretary Manohar Prasad Bhattarai has already printed the ballot papers for the vote.

NWPP central committee member Krishna Maharjan had also filed his candidacy with Prem Suwal as proposer and Dilli Prasad Kafle as supporter. Maharjan withdrew his candidacy after NWPP decided to support the UML candidate.

As per the party’s decision, UML leaders today met top leaders of several parties in the Parliament and requested them to support Bhandari in the presidential election.

Earlier, the NC central working committee meeting had decided to field Kul Bahadur Gurung for the post of president and Amiya Kumar Yadav for vice-president.

UCPN-M parliamentary party meeting has decided to issue whip to all its lawmakers to vote for Bhandari.

Nepali Congress’ candidate

Kul Bahadur Gurung

  • Born on 23 November 1934 to Pahal Bahadur and Purna Kumari Gurung
  • A B. Ed graduate, was deputy head master at Ilam Public Adarsha High School for 11 years
  • Active in politics from 1950
  • Participated in Bhadra Abagya Andolan in Kathmandu
  • Became central member of Tarun Dal when King Mahendra imposed Panchayat regime
  • Exiled to India for four years
  • Returned to Kathmandu after BP Koirala’s Mel Milap policy
  • Arrested at the airport and jailed for three years in 1976; jailed again in 1990 movement
  • Elected to NC central working committee in 1992
  • Elected as general secretary in the 11th and 12th NC general conventions.
  • Elected to Parliament from Ilam in 1994
  • Became Minister for Education, Health and Women, Children and Social Welfare
  • Nominated member of restored Parliament following the movement of 2006
  • Acting chairman of the Constituent Assembly until election of Subas Nembang to the post
  • Currently heads the Parliamentary Hearing Special Committee