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Nepal's parliament elects communist party's deputy leader as nation's first female president

  • Presidential candidate and vice-chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Bidhya Bhandari waves her hand after casting vote as lawmakers vote for a new president in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. The prime minister is Nepal's leader, while the president is the ceremonial head.The new constitution adopted last month requires Nepal to name a new president.(AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Presidential candidate and vice-chairperson of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Bidhya Bhandari waves her hand after casting vote as lawmakers vote for a new president in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. The prime minister is Nepal's leader, while the president is the ceremonial head.The new constitution adopted last month requires Nepal to name a new president.(AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

  • Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, center,prepares to cast his vote as lawmakers vote for a new president in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. The prime minister is Nepal's leader, while the president is the ceremonial head.The new constitution adopted last month requires Nepal to name a new president.(AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli, center,prepares to cast his vote as lawmakers vote for a new president in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. The prime minister is Nepal's leader, while the president is the ceremonial head.The new constitution adopted last month requires Nepal to name a new president.(AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

  • Bidhya Devi Bhandari of the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist waves her hand after she was elected as Nepal's new president in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Bhandari, 54, who has long campaigned for women's rights was elected Wednesday as Nepal's first female president. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Bidhya Devi Bhandari of the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist waves her hand after she was elected as Nepal's new president in Kathmandu, Nepal, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015. Bhandari, 54, who has long campaigned for women's rights was elected Wednesday as Nepal's first female president. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

Nepal's parliament has elected a Communist leader who has long campaigned for women's rights as the Himalayan nation's first female president.

Parliament Speaker Onsari Gharti announced that Bidhya Devi Bhandari of the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist received 327 votes against her opponent's 214 in parliament on Wednesday.

Bhandari is the deputy leader of the party led by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli. He was elected earlier this month and leads a coalition government.

Bhandari is Nepal's second president since the Himalayan nation was turned into a republic after abolishing the centuries-old monarchy. Ram Baran Yadav remained president for seven years because it took that long for the constitution to be prepared and adopted.