March 7, 2018 07:00 AM NPT
-Total Voters: 880
-Total vote weightage: 52,501 (331 x 79= 26,149; 549 x 48 =26,352; 26,149+26,352 = 52,501)
-Winning candidate must secure 50 percent of the total vote weightage of 52,501
-Candidates must be over 45 and hold Nepali citizenship by descent
KATHMANDU, Mar 7: The Election Commission has called for candidacy nominations from those aspiring to become the third president of the country. Those interested in running for the post can register their candidacy from 10 am to 2 pm Wednesday at the EC's temporary office set up on the premises of parliament at New Baneshwar.
The election of the president for the second time since the promulgation of the constitution in 2015 will be as per the new law that allows provincial assembly members also to vote. Incumbent President Bidya Devi Bhandari and her predecessor Ram Baran Yadav were elected from the 601-member unicameral parliament.
Under the new provisions, a candidate must secure 50 percent of the vote weightage (26,250) out of the total weightage of 52,501 from the 880 voters, to be elected head of state. According to the law, the 331 members [three others have yet to take oath] of the bicameral parliament and 549 members [one has yet to take oath] of the unicameral provincial assemblies of all seven provinces are eligible to vote for the presidential candidates. The weightage of their votes varies. The votes of the 331 members of parliament (275 of the House of Representatives and 56 of National Assembly) will have a weightage of 79 each while that of the 549 members of the seven provincial assemblies will have a weightage of 48 each.
Three upper house members appointed by the president and one provincial member of Province 4 have yet to take oath.
All the provincial assembly members need to come to Kathmandu to vote.
The vote of a member of parliament will be multiplied by its weightage number of 79, and the vote of a provincial assembly member multiplied by its weightage number of 48. The total vote weightage of the 331 members of parliament will be counted as 26,386 and that of the 550 provincial assembly members as 26,400.
The weightage of 48 is arrived at by dividing the total population of the country (26.49 million as per the 2011 census) by the total number of provincial assembly members (550). One vote of a member of parliament will have the same weightage as 1.64 votes of a provincial assembly member.
The new law for the election of the president and vice president has provisioned that a candidate must secure 50 percent of the total vote weightage to get elected. As the left alliance of the CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) jointly command nearly a two-thirds majority in the bicameral parliament and in six of the seven provincial assemblies, the candidate to be fielded by the alliance is certain to win.
If none of the candidates receives a majority, there will be a run-off between the top two candidates. If the two candidates end up getting an equal weightage of votes, the winner will be decided through a drawing of lots.
The election of the vice president will be fixed within a week after the election of the president. There is a provision for conducting the elections of the president and vice president on separate dates with a view to ensure that those holding these two highest positions will be of different genders and communities.
According to the election law, any individual above 45 years of age who is a citizen of Nepal by descent can contest the election. However, a candidate aspiring to contest for the top post must garner the support of at least five members of parliament or provincial assemblies for proposing the candidacy and that of five other members for seconding it.