Maoists leader Prachanda (right) congratulates newly elected President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav in Kathmandu on Monday. Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai looks on. Photo: AFP
Nepali Congress (NC) General Secretary candidate Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has become the first president of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, securing a comfortable majority in the presidential run-off held on Monday, July 22, 2008. Constituent Assembly (CA) chairman K. B. Gurung announced in the CA meeting this evening that Dr. Yadav had been elected president by a simple majority.
Dr Yadav, gained 308 out of 590 votes on Monday’s presidential run-off, while his opponent Maoist-backed Ram Raja Prasad Singh got 282 votes. Yadav was supported by CPN (UML), Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, CPN (ML), Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, CPN (United), Rastriya Janamorcha, Rastriya Janashakti Party and a few other fringe parties.The 61-year-old president elect hails from Dhanusha district and was the general secretary of the Congress party.
Altogether 590 votes were cast in today’s run-off poll. The run-off voting was conducted as none of the candidates reached the magic number, 298, in Saturday’s election. Madhesi Janadhikar Forum candidate Parmananda Jha was elected vice president in the previous voting.
Speaking to media personnels, Dr. Yadav said, “This is the victory of democracy. This is the victory of all Nepalis people” and added, “I will work towards strengthening democracy“. He also thanked all the members of the Constituent Assembly.
Dr Yadav had a very humble beginning. Born to a simple farmer family in Magh 22, 2004 B.S. in Safai VDC of Dhanusha district in the Terai plains of Nepal, Dr Yadav was the fourth son of Dhan Yadav and Ram Rati Yadav.
He completed his initial education in Dhanusha district and then came to Kathmandu for higher studies. As he was keen on studying medicine, the young Ram Baran Yadav went to Kolkata (formerly Calcutta), India, and got admission in Calcutta Medical College from where he received his M.B.B.S degree and became a practicing doctor. Later he acquired M.D degree from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh of India in the year 2040 B.S.
Dr Yadav was actively involved in politics since the 1960s students’ movement. He participated in the campaigns favouring multi-party democracy when the referendum was held in 1980 during the Panchayat regime. Since 2043, Dr Yadav was deeply engaged in the politics leaving behind his medical career.
He won the elections held in 1990 and 1998/99 from NC. Lady luck favored even in the year 2008 as he was directly elected to the Constituent Assembly (CA) through the landmark election held in April. Dr Yadav had already held the position of Minister three times before.
The newly elected president Dr. Ram Baran Yadav is set to be sworn in on Wednesday. As per the constitution, Chief Justice will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the President. The President will then administer the oath of office to vice president.