Nepal to choose Indian-origin President on July 19

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Kathmandu, Jul 19: Nepal's first president is almost certain to be a person of Indian origin, as all three mainstream parties have fielded Madhesi candidates from the southern Terai region. Lawmakers of Nepal's newly elected Constituent Assembly will vote Saturday, July 19 to choose the first president of the republic, seen as a key step to forming a government headed by a prime minister after over 200 years of monarchy.

The campaign for the election of both president and vice president ended on July 18, Friday evening. 594 Constituent Assembly members are eligible to vote in the election for the president and vice president. Maoists' candidate Ramraja Prasad Singh, 74, of the Nava Janawadi Morcha, is likely to win the election as he is also backed by three Madhesi parties.

Singh, who did his Master's degree (Law) from Delhi University, was arrested in 1985 for throwing a small bomb at parliament as part of an anti-royal protest.

Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist), the second and third largest parties, have fielded Ram Baran Yadav and Ram Prit Paswan respectively for the president's post.

The Maoists have 226 seats in the Constituent Assembly and with the support of Madhesi parties, which have 86 parliamentarians.

Singh is likely to get at least 314 votes against the magic number of 298 required to win the election in the Constituent Assembly.

ANI

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