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Voting in Nepal presidential poll ends

world Updated: Jul 21, 2008 13:52 IST
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Voting in the run-off to elect Nepal's first president ended in Kathmandu on Monday, a key step to end the three month long political deadlock that has plagued the nation since the abolition of the 240-year-old monarchy.

The polling began at 8 am on Monday with the lawmakers lined up to vote, after the two main Indian-origin candidates failed to garner clear majority in last week's election.

The counting is scheduled to begin at 1 pm And the official result is expected to be out by 4 pm, sources said.

Ethnic Madhesi leader and Nepali Congress candidate Ram Baran Yadav, who fell short of 15 votes to reach the magic figure of 298, is likely to win the run-off.

The smaller parties like Rashtriya Jan Morcha and Nepal Workers and Peasants Party have voted in favour of Yadav, the sources said.

Yadav, backed by the CPN-UML and the Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF), is pitted against Maoist candidate Ram Raja Prasad Singh, who was earlier perceived as the front-runner.

The new President will replace the deposed King Gyanendra as the head of the state.

Maoists, the former rebels, won 220 seats in the Constituent Assembly elections held on April 10. Since the abolition of the monarchy, the main political parties in Nepal have been unable to form a new government because of serious differences on issues like who should be the president and prime minister.