Vastavam web: Millions of Nepalese today voted in the second phase of the country’s first local-level polls in two decades as the Himalayan nation took a crucial step towards cementing democracy amid political turmoil.Authorities recorded a 70.5 per cent voter turnout, slightly lower than the 71 per cent recorded in the first phase on May 14.The counting of votes will start as soon as the ballot boxes reach the counting centres, he said.The highest, 80 per cent, voter turnout was recorded at Bajura district while the lowest was reported from Bhojpur with 61 per cent.
Voting in two polling centers in Bajhang district were halted due to clashes between the cadres of Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist), according to the EC.In ward number 9 of Rolpa Municipality, the voting was halted after a voter poured acid into a ballot box.Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Prasad Gharti Magar said they were investigating the case. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba cast his vote at the Asigram Higher Secondary School, the polling station in Ruwakhola in Dadeldhura district of far-east Nepal.
Deuba assured that the Constitution’s full-fledged implementation would take its course once the local government was established, and that the development works would move forward efficiently, rapidly and transparently.Meanwhile, Nepal media reported that at least four persons died, apparently due to natural causes, while casting their votes.More than 6.4 million people are eligible voters in the 35 districts of Provinces 1, 5 and 7 that have gone to polls in the second phase of polls to elect more than 15,000 local representatives.
In the first round of polls held on May 14 in Provinces 3, 4 and 6, voter turn out was recorded at 71 per cent.All the political parties including the Madhesi parties are taking part in the elections.The Nepal government had earlier this month postponed the date of elections in the disputed Madhesi-stronghold Province 2 by nearly three months, adding a third phase in the polls that will take place in September. The Election Commission said 62,408 candidates were contesting the second phase of elections.Votes were cast secretly under the first-past-the-post electoral system on the basis of one post, one vote pattern.