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First round of Nepal polls held successfully: Election Commission

Nov 27 2017 | 11:56 am

Kathmandu: Elections for the parliament and provincial assemblies were held successfully in 32 mountainous and hilly districts in the first phase, Nepal’s Election Commission (EC) said on Sunday.

The country is scheduled to the second phase of polls on Dec. 7 in the remaining 45 districts.

These elections are being held to implement Nepal’s new constitution promulgated in September 2015 which has envisioned creating three layers of governance structure – federal, provincial and local.

Nepal has already held local elections this year electing local assemblies and governments.

The EC said on Sunday that except sporadic incidents, the polls were held peacefully in all the districts where elections were held in the first phase.

There were concerns over security during the polls after recent incidents of bomb attacks targeting senior leaders of political parties, candidates and their poll campaigns.

In the recent bomb attacks, former speaker of Nepal’s parliament Ram Chandra Poudel, former Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat, another former Finance Minister Barsaman Pun, former Home Minister Janardan Sharma and former Information and Communication Minister Sher Dhan Rai were targeted but not harmed.

“Elections were held peacefully due effective security measures taken by the Nepali government,” Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav told a press conference.

As per the early estimate of Nepal’s election body, voter turnout stood at 65 percent which might go up once the final turnout figure is available.

Voter turnout in constituent assembly elections held in 2013 was 78.74 percent and 74.16 percent in recently held local elections, according to the EC.

The elections in the first phase were held for 37 parliamentary seats and 74 provincial assembly seats under the first-past-the-post system while elections for the remaining seats at both the parliament and provincial assemblies will be held in the second phase.

Panipokhari

Kathmandu, Nepal

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