Kathmandu, May 15: After 20 years, polling for election of local bodies, concluded peacefully in Nepal. In the first phase polling was held for 281 local bodies out of 283 in 3 provinces and counting of votes for the first phase of local elections has begun today. Representatives for two local bodies were elected unopposed. Seventy-one per cent voters exercised their franchise in 34 districts.
In the capital Kathmandu a large number of voters turned out to exercise their franchise. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal casted his vote at his home town in Bharatpur. Many ministers and senior leaders of various political parties also exercised their franchise. Elaborate arrangements were made for free and fair elections.
Polling at 3 centres were postponed due to death of two persons. Polling for remaining 4 provinces will be held in second phase on 14th of next month. As per constitution of Nepal it is essential to hold local, provincial and federal elections by January 2018.
A few incidents of disruption and violence in some districts notwithstanding , Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhee Prasad Yadav said in a press conference, voting concluded peacefully and in free and fair manner.
CEC Yadav said voting was cancelled at three polling centres, one each in Kavre, Kalikot and Dolakha districts, and date for fresh voting will be fixed later. Ballot boxes from remote locations will be airlifted by choppers to the respective headquarters in some districts, he informed.
Meanwhile, Rastriya Janata Party Nepal leader Keshav Jha claimed that his party would join the June 14 elections even if the parties only commit in writing to amending the constitution later.
The RJP-N is prepared to register itself with the Election Commission on Wednesday and has demanded umbrella as its election symbol.
With RJP-N’s participation, there will remain no doubts over the success of the June 14 vote since the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal, another of the agitating parties, is already in the poll process.