September 19, 2017
Nepal’s most-awaited local elections successfully ended today with a record voter turnout in the last phase.
The Election Commission (EC), in its latest update, informed that the third phase of elections held in Province 2 yesterday registered a 77 percent voter turnout.
With this, the third phase that was held in 136 local levels of eight districts of Province 2 surpassed the first two rounds of civic polls, which saw 71 percent and 73.69 percent voter turnout, respectively.
The final phase of elections was considered tough compared to the first two rounds as the polls in Madhesi-dominant Province 2 were earlier postponed thrice due to opposition by Madhesi parties.
However, one metropolitan city, three sub-metropolitan cities, 73 municipalities and 59 rural municipalities of eight districts of Province 2 were covered in the final phase, for which, the Commission had organised 3,578 polling centres and 2,166 polling stations.
Overall, a total number of 2,664,950 voters participated in the final phase of local elections to elect 6,627 civic body representatives.
According to Surya Prasad Aryal, Information Officer at EC, the counting has begun in 89 local levels and preparations are underway for the other levels.
While Nepali Congress is leading the polls in Province 2 with 18 majority, CPN-UML is standing ahead in total with 276 seats and 9 majority seats.
Aryal lauded higher participation of women in polls than men. “The number of women voters exceeds men by 28,535 this time,” said Surya.
Expressing successful completion of local polls, he further informed that as many as 16 third-gendered persons have also cast their votes in the final round of local polls.
The completion of local-level polls is being considered as a key step towards institutionalizing federalism in the country and is part of the final step in the peace deal that ended the 10-year long civil war in 2006.
This is being seen as a key step ahead of federal and provincial elections on November 26, 2017, and December 7, 2017, to mark the ending of long-drawn transition in the country that occurred as a result of a decade-long civil war.
Nepal local-level polls were held for the first time in two decades.