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Nepal holds final phase of crucial local polls

Nepal holds final phase of crucial local polls”

The EC has permitted over 2,100 observers of 44 institutions for the third phase of local polls slated for Monday. The party had been threatening to disrupt the polls until recently when they too decided they would contest for the seats. The protesters also blocked crossings at the border with India, resulting in severe shortages of fuel, medicine and supplies in Nepal. Election Commission said border points with India had been closed to deal with any kind of security challenge.

Police said there was no trouble during the voting in the No. 2 province, where security had been stepped up for the municipal and village council elections.

Most of the country has already voted in the landmark polls but the vote was repeatedly delayed in one province of Nepal's southern plains, which was the epicentre of deadly ethnic protests two years ago.

Simmering tensions have remained and Madhesi parties refused to take part in local polls unless an amendment to the Constitution was passed to address their demand - more representation in parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.

The nationalistic Communist Party Nepal-Union Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) - now the second largest bloc in parliament - largely swept the first two rounds of voting. Later, disgruntled parties agreed to participate in the elections without their demands being addressed.

Terming the local level election as the foundation of democracy, the EC has called on voters to freely take part in the voting and cast their valuable vote being guided by self-conscience rather that threat and promises of anyone else.



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