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World

AFP
March 14, 2018

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Nepal’s first female president wins second term

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s lawmakers Tuesday elected President Bidya Bhandari for a second term, extending the tenure of the Himalayan nation’s first female head of state for another five years. Bhandari took nearly two-thirds of the vote to retain her position as ceremonial head of state, the election commission confirmed. Bhandari, who was backed by the ruling Communist bloc, was widely expected to defeat her sole opponent. Her first five years in office have been largely uncontroversial. Critics say she has not done enough to advance women’s rights in deeply patriarchal Nepal — though her role is largely ceremonial. Late last year she signed into law a revamp of the country’s ancient penal code, which criminalises the dowry system and bans an old Hindu practice that banishes woman from the home while menstruating.

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