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Nepali vice president elected, new date for president voting set
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10:53, July 20, 2008

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The Nepali Constituent Assembly (CA) Saturday evening declared Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF)candidate Paramananda Jha the first vice president of the republican Nepal and set the new date for next-round president election.

The CA Chairman Kul Bahadur Gurung declared that Paramananda Jha was elected vice president of the federal democratic Nepal, and the new president election was to be elected at 0800 local time (0215 GMT) on Monday.

Recounting of Saturday's voting shows that Jha bagged 305 votes beating his nearest rival Shanta Shrestha from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) with 243 votes.

Three president candidates could not secure simple majority support from the 578 voting CA members. After 24 votes turned invalid, Ram Baran Yadav of the Nepali Congress (NC) bagged 283 votes and candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh nominated by the CPN-M won 270 votes, while one CA member did not cast votes for any president candidate.

Nepal was declared a federal democratic republic at the first CA meeting on May 28, ending the 240-year Shah dynasty.

Since no single candidate secured a simple majority (298 votes out of 594 CA member voters), two top candidates securing the largest number of votes, Ram Baran Yadav and Ram Raja Prasad Singh, will contest again in the elections for the second round. The elections will be held in successive rounds until a single candidate for the two posts emerge with a simple majority.

After the CA meeting, NC leader Ram Chandra Poudal said his party would assure its candidate to win on Monday, while the MPRF top leader Upendra Yadav expressed his party's support for NC's president candidate.

MPRF candidate Paramananda Jha won Saturday's election with support from the NC and the third largest CA party the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML).

The three party went together when the CPN-M rejected NC's proposal for Prime Minister Koirala and CPN-UML's proposal for its former general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal to take the presidential post, and turned down to support MPRF's vice president claim.

Source: Xinhua

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