KATHMANDU, May 20: Dr Khim Lal Devkota of the opposition alliance has secured victory in the National Assembly be-election held for a vacant post in Bagmati Province. Dr Devkota secured a total of 5,088 weightage of votes, defeating his nearest rival Ram Bahadur Thapa "Badal", who served as the home minister in the KP Oli-led cabinet.
Thapa, who was the official candidate of the ruling CPN-UML, secured a total weightage of 4,014. Another candidate fielded by Nepal Workers and Peasant Party, Krishna Maharjan secured a total 132 votes.
While the Oli-led UML had fielded Home Minister Thapa, the Nepal-led faction of the party extended its support to Dr Devkota, a UML leader close to Nepal. Dr Devkota had secured the support of the Nepali Congress and the CPN (Maoist Center).
The by-election took place to fill the post that fell vacant after the CPN-Maoist Center sacked Home Minister Thapa from the party after he decided to quit the Maoist Center. This is the first by-election of a member of the National Assembly after the implementation of the current constitution.
Of the total 347 voters, 338 participated in the voting while nine chose to abstain from it. An electoral college of 347 voters --- 109 Bagmati Province Assembly members and 347 chiefs and deputy chiefs of local units in the province --- is supposed to elect the member for the upper house. Each vote of Provincial Assembly members carries a weightage of 48, while the vote of chiefs and deputy chiefs of the local governments each carries a weightage of 18 in the vote counting.