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Global observers appreciate Nepal for conducting fair and peaceful Parliamentary, Provincial elections

08 December 2017

A man walks past the instruction banner displayed by the Election Commission for the upcoming second phase of parliamentary and provincial elections in Kathmandu, Nepal December 4, 2017.

Officials said more than 200,000 soldiers and police had been deployed to maintain security at polling centers after one person was killed and dozens wounded in a series of small blasts in the run-up to the polls.

The second and the final phase of the parliamentary and provincial assembly elections were held in Nepal on Thursday, a crucial step to implement the milestone new constitution promulgated in September 2015.

It will establish the country's first provincial assemblies, devolving power away from a top-heavy central government.

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Voters in 45 districts will exercise their franchise on Thursday to elect 128 HoR and 256 PA members.

"The Election Commission calls on all eligible voters to take part in the elections to convey a strong message to those who are against the implementation of the constitution as well as political stability in the country", CEC Yadav said.

"Now there will be specific people responsible for different parts of the country it will be more accountable", said Bishwa Shrestha, 46, after casting his ballot in Kathmandu.

"If they can not fulfil their promises then the groups that have been part of the struggle will not stay quiet".

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Over two decades of political turbulence have hampered development in the impoverished country, which is still recovering from a powerful quake that hit in April 2015, killing 9,000 people and destroying over half a mn homes.

But it also sparked deadly protests in the south by ethnic minority groups who say the charter leaves them politically marginalised, and have demanded changes to it.

The Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML, the CPN-Maoist Centre and the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, a key Madhesi party, are the main competitors. Many in the southern lowlands share close linguistic and cultural ties with Indians across the border.

Nepal's mountainous north voted in the first phase 10 days ago.

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The procedures to start the vote counting will start afterwards.

Global observers appreciate Nepal for conducting fair and peaceful Parliamentary, Provincial elections