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Nepal voting

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013
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4:30 pm

With half an hour before polling booths all across the country shut down, voting in Sunsari-3 consisting of Tanmuna, Bhaluwa, Chitaha went on very peacefully with no major incidents. Enthusiastic voters – young and old – turned out in large numbers  in this ‘sensitive’which was under heavy army and police security the whole day. President of the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar and Bhagwati Chaudhary of the UML had fought fiercely during campaigning in this constituency of 10,000 voters.

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4:00pm

Voting was suspended in Dolakha-1 for a while after UCPN (M) attacked members of the UML with khukuris when they tried to stop the Maoists from taking over five polling booths in Thulo Patal. Six UML cadres including former CA member Shanti Pakhrin were injured during the skirmish. UML Politburo member from Dolakha, Pashupati Chaulagai, says that the Maoists captured the voting centres in the presence of the police. “The police themselves were calling Maoist cadres and asking them to vote,” claims Chaulagai. “The government has been very one-sided, we requested the CDO for reelections, he did not agree. Now we will ask the Election Commission.”

Talking to Nepali Times over phone, Chaulagai said the Nepali Congress too was involved in the voting fraud. “The two parties  had made a deal: the Maoists would vote first, then the NC, and if there were any ballots remaining they would give it to us,” he explained.  While three injured UML cadres were flown to hospitals in Kathmandu, Chaulagai says the security forces further torched the remaining three.

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3:45 pm

“They should have killed me instead, how am I going to live if my son dies? How do I get my son back?” asks the devastated mother of eight-year-old Samir Khadgi. Samir was seriously injured and lost his right hand when a bomb exploded approximately 200 metres from a polling booth in Bhotebahal, Kathmandu. The young boy was playing with two other children and mistook the bomb for a toy. The blood smattered pavement and walls in Bhotebahal are reminiscent of attacks during the 10-year long civil war.

bomb blast scene

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He was rushed to the emergency ward in Bir Hospital for treatment around 10:15 this morning. The doctors have removed all shrapnel from his body, but Samir is in deep pain and shock. Relatives are looking for the missing parts of his body.

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3:25 pm

According to the Election Commission 50 per cent of voting has been completed by 1pm. The highest percentage of voting has been completed in Kavre (60 per cent) and lowest in Mustang (22 per cent) yet.

Nepali Congress cadres have been accused of capturing polling booths at Sarlahi-6 today morning. The NC’s Amresh Singh and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahanta Thakur are contesting from this constituency. Singh’s supporters captured five booths in Balara VDC soon after voting began at 7am. Locals are demanding a reelection in the constituency.

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Reporter Anurag Acharya says cadres of Forum Nepal are luring voters with free lunch at Janata Bhagwati School, Katahari VDC, Morang-6.

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12:45 pm

A bomb was planted approximately 200 metres from a polling booth in Bhotebahal. Eight-year-old Samir Khadgi was playing with two other friends, when he happened to handle the bomb. Samir lost his right hand and was rushed to the emergency ward in Bir Hospital for treatment. Two others were injured. His relatives say the young boy was just standing when the bomb exploded. At the hospital Samir was still in shock than pain.

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10:15 am

Our reporter from east Nepal, Anurag Acharya, says the polling centre in Mahendra Morang Campus, Morang-5, is highly disorganised, little police presence for 9,000 plus voters, area not cordoned off, voters confused, free use of cell phones.

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Starting at 7am, voting for the second Constituent Assembly got underway in most of the 18,456 centres across the country. Bir Bahadur Rai, spokesperson for the Election Commission informed that voting started on time.

A total of 12,147,865 Nepalis are registered to vote this time round. 6,128 candidates are in the FPTP race for 240 seats in the assembly. The remaining 335 seats will be picked from 10,709 candidates in the PR list and 26 will be nominated. A total of 128 parties are taking part.

vote-copy

While voting has been largely peaceful and gone on mostly uninterrupted, according to ujyaaloonline.com, the voting centre in Chamunda High School of Dailekh-2 was attacked by the CPN–M cadres, who stole the ballot box. Police fired in the air to bring the situation into control. Voting has been stalled in the centre for the moment.

Voting in some VDCs in northern Bhojpur have also been obstructed. Police found socket bombs and suspicious objects meant to scare away voters in Mulpani, Kudakakau, and Chaukidada VDCs.

A report from setopati.com says UCPN (M) cadres have captured two booths in Chyalchok VDC of Gorkha-1 where the party’s senior leader Baburam Bhattarai is competing from. Two Nepali Congress candidates were injured. Similarly the UCPN(M) has captured booths in Mahendra Lila High School and Saraswati Primary School of Gorkha-2 and are casting one sided votes.

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