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Nepal Elections 2017 Results: Vote Count Begins in Jajarkot, Mustang

Nepal Elections 2017 Results: Vote Count Begins in Jajarkot, Mustang

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.

Over 12 million people are eligible to vote in the historic elections in 45 districts of the southern plains and low hill areas including Kathmandu, to elect 128 lawmakers.

As per the new constitution of Nepal, it is mandatory to complete local, province and parliament elections by January 21 next year. About 12 million voters in southern Nepal will cast their ballots in Thursday's second round, with the North having voted on November 26.

Govinda Paudel, a 62-year-old pensioner who had just voted, hoped the polls would lead toward political stability and economic growth. Counting of all the votes is expected to start Friday and take several days as some of the ballot boxes must be transported from remote villages to counting centers.

The vote will establish the country's first provincial assemblies, devolving power away from a top-heavy central government that has cycled through 10 leaders in the last 11 years.

Narendra Modi pays tribute to BR Ambedkar
He said, efforts are being made to ensure that every poor has his house by 2022 under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Modi further said that the Central government was developing places related to Ambedkar's life as pilgrimage sites.

Police spokesman Manoj Nupane said voting on Thursday was mostly peaceful and security was stepped up in the region. Vehicles were banned from the streets and voters walked to the polling stations in their neighborhoods.

European Union observer Zeljana Zovko said they have not noted any major issues in the places they have visited.

Years of political turbulence have hampered development in the impoverished Himalayan nation, which is still recovering from a powerful natural disaster that hit more than two years ago, killing 9,000 people and destroying over half a million homes.

In 2015, when Nepal adopted a new Constitution that split it into seven states, dozens of people were killed in ethnic clashes over territory and rights.

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. According to the Home Ministry, more than 400 people were detained in days leading up to the vote. Their protest blocked the border with India for months, cutting off fuel and other supplies in Nepal.


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