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Nov 30, 2019

Nepal: Over 65 % voters exercised their franchise in by-elections

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Over 65 per cent voters exercised their franchise in by-elections to elect 52 people’s representatives in Nepal. The by-polls were held to elect one member of the House of Representatives (Lower House of the parliament), three provincial assembly members and 48 chiefs, deputy chiefs and ward chairs at the local level in 37 districts. 

According to the Election Commission of Nepal, polling was peaceful and as per initial reports, 65.43 per cent voting was recorded. 247 polling stations and 527 polling centres were set up for 454,114 voters.
A total of 337 candidates, including 84 women, were in fray in the first elections held after 2017 historic three-tier elections in the Himalayan nation. Although by-elections were held for 52 seats, all eyes were on Kaski-2 parliamentary constituency which fell vacant after Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari lost his life in a helicopter crash in February this year.

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) fielded his wife Bidhya Bhattarai from this high profile seat, while Khem Raj Paudel contested from main opposition, Nepali Congress.
The election is seen as a popularity test of K.P. Sharma Oli government. The left alliance had registered a landslide victory in 2017 elections, with almost a two-third majority in the House of Representatives. The NCP had also formed governments in six out of seven provinces and won in most of the local bodies.

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