Nepalese Parliament Elects First Female President
Bidhya Devi Bhandari is now deputy leader of the ruling Communist party in Nepal who has long campaigned to secure women’s rights under the new constitution. Bhandari is Nepal’s first female president.
Bhandari is Nepal’s ceremonial head, while the prime minister is the nation’s leader.
Nepal’s new constitution, which was adopted last month required the nation to have a new president. Hence, 54-year-old Bhandari is made deputy leader of the party led by prime minister, Khadga Prasad Oli, who was elected this month and leads a coalition government.
Bhandari is known for campaigning for women’s rights in Nepal and was among the politicians who pushed to secure their rights under the new constitution. The new constitution states that one-third of the members of parliament have to be women and either the president or vice-president must be a woman.
Since Bhandari’s husbnad, Madan Bhandari, then leader of the party, was killed in a car accident, Bhandari has has been a leading political figure. She is also known for leading protests against the former Nepalese monarch, King Gyanendra, which led to his fall eventually and helped bring democracy back.
Bhandari is the second woman to be elected to a senior position since the new charter, after Magar became the country’s first female Speaker earlier this month.