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Nepal polls: Main opposition party in the lead, Nepali Congress close behind

Of the 744 local level units in Nepal, 283 went to the polls in the first round of voting, held on May 14.

world Updated: May 17, 2017 22:54 IST
Anil Giri
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist)

A Nepalese election worker carries a sealed ballot box after polling stations closed in Kathmandu on Sunday.(AFP)

The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist), Nepal’s main opposition party that has championed a nationalist agenda, on Wednesday continued to lead in the first round of the local body polls held on May 14, as results trickled in from three provinces.

These provinces come under Hill region, where the UML party is considered stronger in comparison to Nepali Congress, the largest party in the Himalayan country.

Of the 744 local level units in Nepal, 283 went to the polls in the first round of voting. At the time of going to press, UML had won 48 seats and was leading in 57, while the Nepali Congress won 42 and was leading in 51. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist-Centre) was third.

Chief election commissioner Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said that it will take another a week to announce the final results of the first phase, leading to anger among citizens due to the delay in the counting of votes and declaration of results.

The UML is currently leading in all of Nepal’s metropolitan cities — Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Pokhara and Bharatpur. However, the Nepali Congress has been doing well in rural areas.

Nepal will hold the second round of polls on May 31, but Madhesi parties warned that they will not take part in the elections without the amendments they have demanded in the Constitution.