Incumbent President Bidhya Devi Bhandari is standing in the fray for her second term challenged by Laxmi Rai from the Nepali Congress. Vote-weightage of each voter of the House of Representatives and National Assembly was 79, while that of each Provincial Assembly member was equivalent to 48, The Himalayan Times reported.
In October 2015, Bhandari succeeded Nepal's first President Ram Baran Yadav amidst protests over the newly-promulgated Constitution. Bhandari had been endorsed by the left-alliance. "We have made the arrangements to count the votes after the voting concludes, and the vote counting is expected to start after 4:00 p.m. and the results will be out by the evening", Election Commission's spokesperson Nawaraj Dhakal was quoted by ANI.
The CPN-UML carries a total vote bank of 23,356 in the country, with 148 lawmakers in the Federal Parliament and 243 in the Provincial Assemblies, while the CPN (Maoist Centre) has 65 lawmakers in the Parliament and 108 in the Provincial Assemblies, which total the vote bank for 10,319. A total of 78 federal lawmakers and 116 provincial lawmakers voted for Rai.
Bhandari, the incumbent president for the last two and a half years, was backed by the ruling Unified Marxist-Leninist party, the largest in the parliament.
Out of the 334 federal parliament members, 326 members cast their votes in the election.
Pathak said the UML leaders were also keen for her to continue as the head of state for a full five-year term since her first tenure ended after just two-and-a-half years. Likewise, 549 provincial assembly members were eligible to exercise their franchise in the presidential election, of which 13 were absent during the vote casting.
Bhandari, 56, will be sworn in by the country's chief justice on Wednesday.