Nepal holds second round of local body elections peacefully

Nepalis queue up to vote at a polling station in the outskirts of Kathmandu April 10, 2008. Hoping it will bring their country lasting peace after a decade of war and insurgency, Nepalis queued from dawn on Thursday to cast their vote in a historic election, the country’s first in nine years. REUTERS/Adrees Latif (NEPAL)

KATHMANDU, June 28 (Xinhua) — Nepal held the second round of local body elections on Wednesday as a major step to implement the landmark new constitution promulgated in September 2015.

Millions of Nepali people voted for their candidates during the one-day elections conducted from 7:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. local time in 334 local units of 35 districts of provinces 1, 5 and 7 in the Terai plains of the country.

Some 62,408 contenders vied for the 15,038 positions in one metropolitan city, seven sub metropolitan cities, 111 municipalities and 215 village development councils on Wednesday, which covered nearly half of the country.

“We have held the second phase of local body polls successfully in a very peaceful manner with the encouraging number of people who voted for their candidates with full of enthusiasm,” Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav told a press conference on Wednesday in the capital Kathmandu.

Elections remained largely peaceful despite threats from Madhes-based ethnic parties that have been vehemently opposing the elections.

The chief election commissioner said that the voters’ turnout in Wednesday’s election was around 70 percent. Nepal has held such elections after a hiatus of two decades.

Nepali Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba cast vote at a polling station at Dadheldhura District in the Far Western Region of Nepal, some 600 km west of the capital.

The first round of such elections was held on May 14 in province 3, 4 and 6, mostly the hilly region of the country.

Another round of elections will be held on Sept. 18 in province 2, which has remained affected due to agitation launched by Madhes-based ethnic parties who are opposing the new constitution. The government has decided to postpone the elections in province 2, hoping that it will be able to bring the agitating parties to the election process.

The government deployed some 70,000 government staffs to the polling stations guarded by 162,000 security personnel during the elections.

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