Voting for presidential election has started Thursday.
Voting started from 10 in the morning at the Parliament Building in New Baneshwore and will continue until three in the afternoon.
Nepali Congress (NC) senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel will be contesting against CPN-UML Vice-chairman Subash Chandra Nembang for the post of the head of state. Paudel is the joint candidate of NC, CPN (Maoist Center), Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP), CPN (Unified Socialist), Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (LSP), Janamat Party, Rastriya Janamorcha and Nagarik Unmukti Party.
There is provision of electoral college for presidential election where federal and provincial lawmakers are voters. Their votes, however, do not carry equal importance and federal and provincial lawmakers are given different weightage.
The 334 federal lawmakers including 275 House of Representatives (HoR) members and 59 National Assembly (NA) members are given weightage of 79 for each vote while the 550 provincial lawmakers are given weightage of 48.
The weightage of each federal lawmaker is calculated by dividing the total population of the country (as per 2011 Census) by the total number of lawmakers (334) and dividing that number by 1,000.
The constituency of Chitwan-2 is currently vacant after the Supreme Court (SC) ruled Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) President Rabi Lamichhane ineligible to become lawmaker due to the citizenship controversy.
NC lawmaker Tek Bahadur Gurung will also not be allowed to vote as he is suspended over corruption charges. Similarly, Nagarik Unmukti Party lawmaker Arun Kumar Chaudhary’s name is also not included on the voter list as the voter list was last updated when notice of his arrest was read out in the Federal Parliament Secretariat. Chaudhary has already been released from prison after President Bidya Devi Bhandari waived his sentence.
The weightage of each provincial lawmaker is also calculated similarly replacing the total number of federal lawmakers with that of provincial lawmakers (550).
The total weighted votes for the presidential election are 52,707 including 26,307 for federal lawmakers and 26,400 for provincial lawmakers. The candidate receiving 26,354 weighted votes is elected the president.
NC has the largest share of weighted votes at 16,142 followed by UML at 15,233, Maoist Center 7,649, CPN (Unified Socialist) 2,574, RPP 2,450, Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) 2,145, RSP 1,501, Janamat Party 1,242, Loktantrik Samajwadi Party (LSP) 971, and Nagarik Unmukti Party 734.
The total weighted votes of smaller parties and independent candidates is less than 1,000.
RPP on Wednesday decided to not participate in the presidential election.
Paudel looks set to win the election being the joint candidate of eight parties that together have more than 30,000 weighted votes.