Kathmandu, March 7
Sher Bahadur Deuba was elected president of the Nepali Congress after he defeated Ramchandra Paudel in the runoff election held today as part of the partyâ€™s 13th National General Convention.
It was colossal victory for Deuba, as he defeated Paudel with a margin of 526 votes. Deuba garnered 1,822 votes and while Paudel got 1,296 votes. Deuba got 258 and Paudel 136 more votes than in the first round of elections.
Of the 3,161 voters, 3,120 cast their votes in the runoff polls. In the first round of polling held yesterday, 3,148 votes were cast. Voting began at 3:15pm and concluded at 6:30pm but counting began only at 10:15pm.
Deuba, 70, will be the party president for the next four years. Deuba, who has been prime minister thrice, was defeated by Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala for the top party post in 11th and 12th NGCs. Deuba, who had split from the NC in 2002 to form Nepali Congress-Democratic, had led the NC-D from 2002 until the two Congresses reunited in 2007.
â€œI have already won the elections and the runoff polls are being held just for formality. I will encompass all friends, including Ramchandra Paudel and Krishna Prasad Sitaula,â€ Deuba said after he cast his vote for the runoff polls.
Counting of votes for the posts of general secretary and treasurer and 61 Central Working Committee members from open and reserved categories will be held tomorrow afternoon at the party headquarters in Sanepa, according to election committee secretary Pradip Parajuli.
After none of the three candidates Paudel, Deuba or Krishna Prasad Sitaula garnered mandatory 50 per cent of the total votes cast, runoff polling was held today. In the first round, Deuba polled 1,564 votes, just 11 short of the required 1,575.
His closest rival Paudel got 1,160 votes, while the third contender, Sitaula, got 324 votes. Exactly 100 votes were declared invalid. Counting for the first round began after midnight and the result was announced around 5:00am.
The 12th NGC held in September 2010 had elected Sushil Koirala as the party president after he defeated Deuba by 335 votes.