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Nepal takes tip from Bhutan

world Updated: Jul 23, 2007 02:08 IST
Anirban Roy
Anirban Roy
Hindustan Times
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Taking a lesson from the neighbouring Dragon Kingdom of Bhutan, Nepal's Election Commission have started organising "mock" elections in the insurgency-ravaged Himalayan nation.

The mock exercise is essential for the officials of the Election Commission as Nepal is now getting ready for the Constituent Assembly election on November 22. The last general election was held in 1999. The Election Commission conducted the first mock election on Saturday at Pharping, on the outskirts of Kathmandu. More than 1,500 voters participated in the five-hour-long practice, which started at 7 am at Pharping Higher Secondary School.

The electorates were asked to cast their votes in favour of four major parties — Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (UML), Maoist and the Nepali Congress (Democratic).

Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokharel said the mock election was conducted to educate voters, and the exercise would be conducted in different parts of the country.

The EC officials claimed the idea to undertake the exercise has been taken from the neighbouring Bhutan. The Dragon Kingdom held its first mock election in April this year.

Political parties in Nepal are happy with the EC's mock exercise during the run up to the "This is a very good exercise," Sushil Man Sherchan, a senior Nepali Congress leader, said.