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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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China to enhance mutually beneficial cooperation with Nepal under BRI : Chinese President XI

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BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping has said that China is ready to to strengthen cooperation with Nepal in infrastructure connectivity, post-disaster reconstruction, trade and investment under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

During the meeting woth visiting Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Wednesday, President Xi said that the two sides should strengthen cultural cooperation and build a solid foundation of public opinion for enhanced Sino-Nepal relations, according to a statement released by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA),

President Xi also highlighted the need to strengthen cooperation to curb transnational crime and safeguard the common security of China and Nepal.

“China and Nepal need to strengthen communications and coordination on major international issues,” the Chinese MoFA statement quoted the president as saying.

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“China and Nepal are friendly neighbors sharing weal and woe since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Nepal,” Xi said, “The two countries have always carried out mutually beneficial cooperation on the basis of the ‘Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.'”

While appreciating Nepal’s One-China policy, President Xi reiterated Chinese support for safeguarding Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“China supports Nepal in independently choosing a social system and development path suited to its national conditions and hopes Nepal will achieve its development goals at an early date,” the statement further quoted Xi as saying during the meeting.

China appreciates Nepal’s firm adherence to the one-China policy and will, as always, support Nepal’s efforts to safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and support Nepal’s independent choice of social system and development, Xi said.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Oli extended his heartfelt congratulations to President Xi for the successful conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in 2017 as well as the annual sessions of the National People’s Congress (NPC) and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) in 2018, according to a press statement issued by the Embassy of Nepal in Beijing.

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The Prime Minister also congratulated the Chinese president for successfully holding the 18th Summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) last week and on his assuming chairmanship of the organization.

Prime Minister Oli has also handed over an invitation letter sent by President Bidya Devi Bhandari to President Xi to visit Nepal.

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