Second phase of Nepal local polls sees huge turn out | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Second phase of Nepal local polls sees huge turn out

The Election Commission said around 70% voters cast their votes in provinces 1, 5 and 7, adding that the process was largely peaceful and successful.

world Updated: Jun 28, 2017 22:50 IST
HT Correspondent
Nepali police load sealed ballot boxes after polling stations close in Nepalgunj, 510 km from Kathmandu.
Nepali police load sealed ballot boxes after polling stations close in Nepalgunj, 510 km from Kathmandu.(AFP)

Around six million Nepalese citizens voted during the second phase of elections to local bodies in three provinces on Wednesday.

The Election Commission said around 70% voters cast their votes in provinces 1, 5 and 7, adding that the process was largely peaceful and successful. Security threats and the monsoon had kept the commission on its toes as some parts of these provinces were considered “sensitive” — protests called by Madhes-based parties opposed to the polls had resulted in sporadic cases of violence.

The local polls were earlier scheduled in two phases, but the second phase was twice postponed after the Madhes-based parties announced a boycott. A key party, the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, said it would skip the elections after its demands for amending the Constitution were not addressed.

Eventually, a third phase of polls was scheduled for September 18 in Province no 2 that covers a large swath of the Terai region, where a majority of the Madhesis live.

Analyst and observers say the huge turnout in the first two phases of the polls will pressure the Madhes-based parties to participate in the third round. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said he will try his best to amend the Constitution by bringing the principle opposition party, the CPN- UML on board. He also expressed hope that the third round will go ahead with the participation of the RJP-N.