Low turnout in polls
8 February | 10.40 PM NST
FROM ISSUE #284 (03 FEB 2006 - 09 FEB 2006) | TABLE OF CONTENTS
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The municipal elections the government held on Wednesday amidst Maoists' threat and the agitating parties' boycott saw low turnout of voters in most of the urban areas. While opposition parties have put the turnout figure at not even five percent, the election commission estimates that between 20 to 30 percent of the registered 1,400,000 voters casted their votes. Election Commission spokesman, Tejmuni Bajracharya said Gaur Municipality saw 71 percent of voters casting their votes while municipalities in the west including Pokhara saw not even 10 percent. In Kathmandu, he said a little more than 50,000 of the registered 300,000 voters had voted. "In some places we have started counting votes and all the results will be out by the day after tomorrow (Friday)," Bajracharya told us. Meanwhile, opposition parties have dubbed the elections as farce and called it a total failure due to what they said people's boycott. "This is a drama the government has orchestrated and the people have shown that they are not interested in such plots," UML leader KP Oli said. The parties' demonstrators clashed with security personnel in different places across the country. In dang such clash resulted into the death of a UML party worker. The parties have alleged that the police shot at the protestor deliberately during a peaceful demostration while officials have defended that it was a case of self -defense. "This incident has claimed blood and the government will have to pay for it," another UML leader Amrit Bohara told us. The government had instructed security personnel to shoot any one trying to disrupt the elections. Wednesday's elections took place on the fourth day of banda (shut down strike) called by the Maoist rebels. Few hours after the election was over, the rebels called off the banda they had called till Saturday saying its aim of disruption polls had been achieved.