Nepal goes to the polls to elect a new House

Nepal goes to the polls to elect a new House of Representatives | News

The Nepalese went to the polls this Sunday to elect the House of Representatives of the federal Parliament and seven provincial assemblies.

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The voting process concluded at 5:00 p.m. local time, and except for some incidents in some voting centers, the day passed normally.

Some 17.988 million voters are eligible to select 275 members for the lower house and 550 for the seven provincial assemblies.

Nepal has adopted a mixed electoral system, in which 60 percent of the representatives of the lower house and the provincial assemblies are elected through the simple majority voting system, while the remaining 40 percent are filled through the system of proportional representation.

A total of 2,412 candidates are in the race for the 165 seats in the Lower House under the simple majority system and 2,199 for the 110 seats under the proportional representation system.

Likewise, 3,224 candidates are competing for the 330 seats in the seven provincial assemblies under the simple majority system and 3,708 for the 220 seats in the proportional representation system.

Voting was postponed at more than a dozen polling stations across the country, including seven in Bajura, as the Election Commission ordered officials not to postpone voting without prior approval.

Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said officials have been told not to postpone the vote.

The vote count will begin at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday amid tight security measures.

The commission would announce all the results of the top positions in the next eight days, while the results of the proportional representation elections would be announced on December 8.

Sunday’s elections are the second since the promulgation of a new constitution in 2015, which reshaped the political order after the end of the internal armed conflict in 2006, which left more than 17,000 deaths.

A total of 10,892 polling stations and 22,227 voting centers have been established, in addition to 141 temporary polling stations for officials, security personnel, prisoners and people living in nursing homes to vote.

Participating political parties

Two newly created parties, which include candidates who claim to be independent, hope to break the hegemony of the traditional political formations in Nepal’s general elections.

The Rastriya Swatantra Party (Independent National Party) and the Hamro Nepali Party (Our Nepali Party) hope to repeat recent electoral victories such as that of independent Balendra Shah, a rapper and engineer, who won the mayoralty of Kathmandu last May.

The social democratic party Congress of Nepal, currently in power, as well as the opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) or CPN-UML are in the crosshairs of newcomers to politics.