Thursday, April 10, 2008

Historical Constitution Assembly Election

Voting concludes; most districts see over 60 pc voter turnout
The historic election to constituent assembly has formally concluded at 5:00 Thursday evening with encouraging voter turnout.
At most polling stations in Kathmandu Valley, voting completed well within the appointed time while voting was still underway in some booths even until 5:30 am.
Reports from various districts say that voting has ended successfully and the officials are preparing to bring the ballot boxes to the district headquarters for counting.
In Kathmandu constituency No. 1, where electronic voting system was introduced for the first time in Nepal, balloting concluded by 5:00 pm.
EC sources said that counting in Kathmandu-1 is likely to start later this evening and the results are expected by midnight or early next morning.
The Election Commission (EC) has said all the voters who entered the booths before 5:00 pm will be allowed to cast the ballots.
EC officials said that except for a few incidents, the election has been a "big success" and that voter turnout in majority of the districts was “more than anticipated”.
Not a single violent incident was reported in 15 Kathmandu Valley that has a total of 15 constituencies – ten in Kathmandu, three in Lalitpur and two in Bhakapur district – during the voting process.
The EC is yet to release official figures, but preliminary calculations suggest that majority districts saw over 60 percent voter turnout.
Arghakhanchi district had over 70 percent turnout, Rukum 60 percent, Surkhet 65 percent, Bardiya 67 percent, Mugu 60 percent, Humla 63 percent, Banke and Surkhet 65 percent and Salyan 62 percent.
The balloting went smoothly in Terai and eastern districts like Morang, Sunsari, Bara, Prasa, Rautahat and Jhapa while it has been postponed in nearly a dozen stations in Chitwan, Siraha, Saptari and Mahottari districts.
There were no reports of cancellation of polling in mid and far-western districts. mk Apr 10 08