Nepal polls record 67% turnout in phase 2

Nepal polls record 67% turnout in phase 2

Nepal voted Thursday in the final round of historic parliamentary elections aimed at drawing a line under years of conflict and political turmoil in the Himalayan country. "I hope there will be a stable government after the election so we don't have to vote again before five years", he said.

More than 12.2 million voters were eligible to exercise their voting rights in the second phase of the polls. This was the final phase of the two phase Nepal elections. Polling for 128 constituencies of House of Representatives and 256 seats of Provincial Assemblies will be held on Thursday in 45 districts.

As many as 702 candidates contested in the two-phase elections. As many as 15,344 polling centres have been set out for the polling that started early today amid tight security and will continue till 5 pm.

The first round of the election was successfully completed on November 26 in 32 districts.

Around 200,000 security personnel, including the Army, have been deployed for the polls in an attempt to step up security in the wake of explosions at various parts of the country ahead of the elections. First time in the history of Nepal elections for state assemblies is taking place.

The newly-elected assemblies will be tasked with naming their provinces, which are now referred to by number, as well as choosing capitals and negotiating budgets with Kathmandu - all sensitive considerations that could rekindle tensions in the ethnically-diverse south.

The 165 directly-elected lawmakers will enter Nepal's 275-member parliament, with the remaining 110 lawmakers to be selected later with the proportion depending on the percentage of votes each political party wins.

The populous south is home to a mosaic of ethnic minorities who say the new constitution leaves them politically marginalised, a cause that has sparked bloody protests in recent years.

It took nine years after the end of a decade-long civil war to agree to a new constitution.

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