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65 percent voter turnout in first phase elections

The vote counting of the first phase elections would start after the completion of the second phase elections on December 7

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The Election Commission (EC) has said the voter turnout at 65 per cent in the first phase of of Representatives and State Assemblies election held in 32 mountainous and hilly districts on Sunday. The voting began at 7 am and ended officially at 5 pm.

Addressing a press meet after the elections, in Kathmandu on Sunday, the Chief Election Commissioner Dr Ayodhee Prasad Yadav informed that Bajura topped with more than 80 percent voter turnout, where Manang district recorded the lowest turnout.

Voters, however, seemed less enthusiastic to vote this election as compared to the previous local elections. The voter turnout in the local election was recorded 74.16 percent while the voter turnout in the 2013 Constituent Assembly elections was 79 percent.

However, elections were conducted peacefully except at two polling centers in Rukum. Despite minor incident in Rukum district, CEC Yadav said the elections were held in a peaceful manner in other polling stations.

The voting process was affected when an unknown person poured acid in a ballot box at Ratna Higher Secondary School of Bafikot Rural Municipalityin Rukum and a similar incident happened at Rastriya Higher Secondary School, Gattasaina of Aathbiskot.

The Election Commission have decided to hold re-elections of those polling centres in Rukum district after the incident. The re-elections of the Ratna Lower Secondary School voting centre at Bafikot Rural Municipality-5 and at the Gattasaina voting center at Aathbiskot Municipality-12 in Rukum west would be held on December 7.

Likewise, some Nepali Congress cadres attempted to capture booths in Jharlang of Dhading. The voting, which was halted for few hours, resumed after the local authorities deployed security personnel including the army to the disputed area.

Some minor clashes also took place in Dolakha, Ramechhap, Bajura, Bajhang, Kalikot and Dhading, however, thses didn’t affect the elections.

The election body has also informed that preparation are underway to bringing ballot boxes at the district headquarters from all the polling centers.

The first phase of election held at 4465 polling stations in 32 districts on Sunday would elect 37 parliamentarian members and 74 members to the State Assemblies.

The EC has clarified that the vote counting of the first phase elections would start after the completion of the second phase elections on December 7.

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Zimbabwe’s President Mnangagwa narrowly escapes explosion at party rally

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HARARE — Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly escaped injury in an explosion on Saturday which has rocked a stadium where Zimbabwe’s president was addressing a campaign rally, with state media calling it an assassination attempt but saying the president was not hurt.

President Mnangagwa was whisked to a state house in Bulawayo, where he had been speaking ahead of next month’s historic election, the first since longtime leader Robert Mugabe stepped down.

The explosion occurred as the president, accompanied by other politicians, was walking off the stage at the White City stadium after addressing thousands of supporters in advance of next month’s vote.

Mnangagwa, the 75-year-old leader of ZANU-PF, was not hurt and taken to safety, officials said. However, witnesses said several people were injured, including the Vice-President.

Several others including number security personnel, the wife of fellow Vice President Constantino Chiwenga, the environment minister and the deputy speaker of parliament also suffered wounds.

Agencies

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