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41 women candidates for provincial and parliamentary elections

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KATHMANDU — A total of 41 women candidates are contesting in the first phase of elections to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies, in 32 districts scheduled for November 26.

Of them, 18 women are contesting in the House of Representatives and the rest in the State Assemblies.

According to the Election Commission, a total of 323 members would be elected in the House of Representatives and 484 in the State Assemblies.

As per the latest details received from the Joint Election Operation Centre, 103 women candidates from the Nepali Congress, 62 from the CPN-UML and 49 from the CPN (Maoist Centre) have filed their candidacies.

Similarly, 81 women candidates from the Naya Shakti Party Nepal, 55 from Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, 43 from Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Democratic), 24 from Jana Samajbadi Party Nepal, 38 from United Rastriya Prajatantra Party (Nationalist) and Mongol National Organisation are contesting in the elections to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies.

Eight political parties have filed their candidacies in the elections to the House of Representatives and State Assemblies.

Election to the House of Representatives is taking place at 37 constituencies and State Assemblies at 74 constituencies.

Likewise, a total of 112 independent candidates have filed their nomination in the elections. Around 3.22 million people would exercise their right to vote in the first round of elections.

Name lists of candidates would be published on October 24 after scrutinizing complaints filed against the candidates.

EC Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhakal said that election symbol would be granted to the candidates after publishing the final name lists of candidates after conclusion of withdrawing the candidacy on October 25.

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Economy

Govt decides to award Budhi Gandaki Hydel project to Chinese firm again

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KATHMANDU — The government has decided to award contract for the construction of the 1,200-megawatt Budhigandaki hydropower project, a national pride project, to China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) once again.

A Cabinet meeting on Friday has decided to award the contract for the project to CGGCL reverting the erstwhile Sher Bahadur Deuba government’s decision to develop the 1200MW project with internal resources.

The Cabinet meeting has directed the Energy Ministry to initiate the process to award the project to the Chinese company.

Following the government decision, the Energy Ministry will now invite the Chinese company for talks and prepare a draft of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) before signing it, according to multiple sources at the ministry.

As per the Cabinet decision, the ministry has been asked to hold talks with the Gezhouba, prepare a proposal, and strike a deal to execute the $2.5 billion reservoir project.

Earlier on May 15, 2017, the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to construct the Budhigandaki project to CGGCL, juat nine days before he was to resign from the PM’s post.

The Dahal-led government had awarded the contract to CGGCL at a cost of Rs 260 billion as per a study carried out by a French company, Tractebel Engineering.

The agreement, however, invited controversy as the project was handed to the Chinese company without initiating a competitive bidding process.

The Budhi Gandaki hydel project has been touted as a key project to resolve the perennial power crisis in the country. The government has allocated Rs18 billion for compensation payments and operational expenses for this fiscal year.

The Gorkha and Dhading district administration offices are currently distributing compensation to owners of the land taken over by the project.

More than 8,000 households will be affected by the project, according to the latest report.

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