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Bidhya Devi Bhandari

Women’s rights campaigner Bidhya Devi Bhandari has become Nepal’s first female president.

Nepal’s parliament has elected Bidhya Devi Bhandari in a move hailed as a milestone.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari, 54, is the second person to hold the mainly ceremonial role.

She is currently the vice-chair of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist).

Bidhya Devi Bhandari was defense minister from 2009 to 2011. As president, she has promised to champion minority and women’s rights in Nepal.

Photo One India

Photo One India

Earlier this month, Nepal’s parliament chose its new prime minister, KP Sharma Oli.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari replaces Ram Baran Yadav, who was Nepal’s first elected president in 2008 after Nepal abolished its monarchy.

Her election comes shortly after Nepal put in place its new constitution in September aimed at stabilizing the country, but which ended up sparking deadly violence, killing at least 40 people.

The constitution defines Nepal as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces.

However, ethnic groups in southern Nepal want more territory and rights for ethnic federal states.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari was born on June 19, 1961, in Manebhanjyang of Bhojpur in Nepal.

She joined student politics at an early age and later got married to a fellow Communist, Madan Bhandari.

Bidhya Devi Bhandari led demonstrations against the former King Gyanendra in 2006, ending his authoritarian rule and restoring democracy.