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Local Polls in Nepal After 20 years

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NEPAL-KATHMANDU-LOCAL ELECTIONS-TEMPORARY SECURITY FORCE by .
Nepalese youths queue up to file the application forms for enrollment in "Myadi Prahari", the temporary security force for upcoming local elections in Kathmandu (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma) (zf)

Nepal is set to hold its first local level polls in two decades and Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ appealed to eligible voters to partcipate in the election and use their sovereign voting rights….reports Asian Lite News

NEPAL-KATHMANDU-LOCAL ELECTIONS-TEMPORARY SECURITY FORCE by .
Nepalese youths queue up to file the application forms for enrollment in “Myadi Prahari”, the temporary security force for upcoming local elections in Kathmandu (Xinhua/Sunil Sharma) (zf)

Calling out to “Nepali people to use their sovereign rights”, the Prime Minister said the elections can be looked upon as a milestone to end the unitary and centralised governing system and establish federal governance.

Local level elections in Nepal are happening after a politically unstable period of 20 years, the Kathmandu Post reported.

The last local representatives were elected in 1997 and their mandates lapsed after their five-year terms expired at the height of the brutal Maoist insurgency.

Elections held in 2005 under the direct rule of King Gyanendra were widely boycotted by major political parties.

Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said all preparations for the election in province 3, 4 and 6 have been completed.

Appealing to voters to vote “without any fear”, Yadav said that the government has taken strict security measures for the polls.

He said that the Election Commission will take action against ministers if they have breached the election code of conduct and are involved in election campaigning during the silent period, the Himalayan Times reported.

“If you have found ministers involved in such activities, tell us their names objectively and action will be taken against them as per election laws,” the Chief Election Commissioner said.

Campaigning for the polls ended on May 11, with the initiation of a silent period wherein political parties and candidates cannot conduct any election campaigns.

With security being steeped up in the capital city as well as other major parts of the country, Nepal’s borders with neighbouring India and China have also been sealed for 96 hours, officials said.

Elections will be held in Provinces 3, 4 and 6 in the first phase on Sunday, while polls for provinces 1, 2, 5 and 7 will be held on June 14.

Some Madhes-centric parties opposed the elections, demanding that the country’s Constitution be amended to accommodate their views of more representation in Parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.

The Nepal government tabled a new Constitution amendment bill in the Parliament to address the demands of the agitating Madhesi parties ahead of the local elections.