Nepal on Thursday held the second and final round of polls to elect 128 representatives for the federal assembly and 256 for provincial assemblies, with reports coming in of sporadic scuffles and tensions in a few areas.
This is the first time Nepal is holding elections to the federal and seven provincial assemblies. The second round of polling covered the lower hilly regions, including the Terai area bordering India.
Some sporadic incidents of violence, including the capturing of booths and scuffles mainly between supporters of the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, were reported from some districts. Some people were injured in these incidents, according to media reports.
Thousands of policemen and soldiers were deployed in the capital Kathmandu and the volatile southern lowlands for the voting after pre-election violence left one dead and dozens injured.
A police officer carries a sealed ballot box towards a vehicle after the completion of polling during the parliamentary and provincial elections in Kathmandu on December 7, 2017. (Reuters)
The counting of votes cast in the first phase of polling began on Thursday while the counting of votes in the second phase, which covered 45 districts, will begin on Friday.
The fate of many top Nepalese leaders, including Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and former premiers Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, KP Sharma Oli, Baburam Bhattarai, Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal, will be decided by Thursday’s balloting.
The fate of top Madhesi leaders too will be decided by this round of polls.
According to the Election Commission, the polling was largely peaceful despite fears of violence by some splinters groups.
Nepal has adopted a mixed electoral system as guaranteed by the Constitution. Apart from the first-past-the-post system, a total of 110 members of parliament will be elected under the proportional representation system to representing various communities.
A total of 220 representatives will also be elected to the provincial assemblies under the proportional representation system.
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