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President Bhandari re-elected for second term

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KATHMANDU — Incumbent President Bidya Devi Bhandari has been re-elected as the President of Nepal for a second term on Tuesday with an overwhelming majority, as per the voting result made public following today’s presidential election.

Bhandari had been endorsed by the left-alliance. Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, and other fringe parties had also backed Bhandari.

Main opposition party Nepali Congress had fielded former lawmaker Kumari Laxmi Rai against Bhandari in the run for the country’s top post.

Bhandari mustered 39,275 votes while her rival candidate Kumari Laxmi Rai, of the main opposition Nepali Congress, garnered 11,730 votes, EC Spokesperson Nawaraj Dhakal said.

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CPN-UML leader Bhandari was elected as the first woman President of Nepal for the first time on October 28, 2015 by defeating Kul Bahadur Gurung of Nepali Congress.

The voting had begun from 10:00 am and went on till 3:00 pm and the counting of votes started at 4:00 pm following the conclusion of ballot casting. An electoral college comprising Members of Federal Parliament and Province Assemblies had cast their votes to elect the President.

As many as 862 votes were cast in the presidential election today at the Federal Parliament Building in New Baneshwor, Kathmandu.

Out of the 334 federal parliament members, 326 members cast their votes in the election. Likewise, 549 provincial assembly members were eligible to cas thier vote in the presidential election, of which 13 were absent during the vote casting.

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World mourns death of Kofi Annan

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GENEVA — Leaders across the world expressed their condolences following the death of Former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan. World leaders praised Annan’s contributions and expressed their admiration for the long-time UN statesman.

Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the UN who rose through its ranks to become its first black African secretary-general, died on Saturday morning in Bern, Switzerland

Antonio Guterres, the current UN chief, described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good.”

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations…He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” Guterres said.

The United Nations has lowered its flags to half-mast. At UN headquarters in New York, the UN flags flew at half-mast and a bouquet of flowers was placed under Mr Annan’s portrait.

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Tributes flowed in from around the world after his foundation announced his death in the Swiss capital, Bern, after a short and unspecified illness.

The statement remembered the Nobel Peace Prize winner as “radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did”.

Annan had served two terms as UN secretary-general in New York from 1997-2006, retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

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