KATHMANDU – People in Nepal queued up early Sunday to vote in the first phase of a general election under a new constitution that was adopted in 2015, to end almost two decades of an interim government and elect representatives to the lower house of parliament and seven provincial assemblies.
The polls opened amid tight security at 7:00 am in 4,465 polling stations across 32 districts and according to the election commission by 10 am they had recorded 25 percent turnout.
The government deployed 238,000 security personnel in the 32 districts (of a total of 77) of northern Nepal, where the first round of elections are being held, the internal affairs ministry spokesperson told EFE.
More than three million Nepalese are voting in this phase of the polls that are the first since the end of a long-running civil war and abolition of monarchy in the country.
While most of the voting took place peacefully, there were some stray incidents of violence recorded in some areas.
In Bitado district, 800 kilometers (497 miles) west of Kathmandu, an improvised explosive device was found and deactivated by the army, Election Commission Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhaka told EFE.
Dhakal added that voting was disrupted in the Dolakha province, around 150 km east of Kathmandu, owing to a clash between supporters the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and the Nepali Congress party.
Nepalese voters will directly elect 165 national lawmakers while another 110 members of the lower house will be elected through the party-list proportional representation system, which takes into account the total number of votes obtained by the parties.
Similarly, 330 members of the seven provincial assemblies will be elected directly while another 220 members will be elected through the same party-list proportional representation system.
The second phase of the elections will be held on Dec. 7, in the more populated southern part of the country, and results are expected to be announced within a week after that.