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UN welcomes elections in Nepal




WASHINGTON — United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the holding of the two-phased state and federal elections in Nepal and congratulated the people for the peaceful conduct of the polls.

“He (Guterres) hopes that all parties will maintain the same spirit in the next stages of the electoral process,” said St phane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General.

These elections mark a historic moment for Nepal in implementing its federal structure as enshrined in the 2015 Constitution, Guterres said.

The Secretary General encourages the government, political parties and civil society leaders to continue their efforts towards furthering inclusive and representative governance, the spokesperson said, adding that the United Nations stands ready to support such efforts.

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The election in Nepal is being seen as the final step in country’s transition to a federal democracy following a decade-long civil war till 2006 that claimed more than 16,000 lives.

In 2015, when Nepal adopted a new Constitution that split it into seven states, dozens of people were killed in ethnic clashes over territory and rights.

Following the adoption of the new Constitution, the ethnic Madhesi group, mostly of Indian-origin, protested for months, saying they were not getting enough territory in one of the provinces and were also facing discrimination.

The polls are seen as a major step towards implementing the new Constitution.

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Japanese PM Shinzo Abe congratulates President Bhandari





KATHMANDU — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has offered congratulations to President Bidya Devi Bhandari on her re-assumption of office as the head-of-nation of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

In his message, Prime Minister Abe said that he looks forward to actively cooperating with President Bhandari to further strengthen the long-standing friendly relation between Japan and Nepal.

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He also said that Japan welcomes the solid progress Nepal is making in strengthening democracy following the elections to the Federal Parliament and Provincial Assemblies under the new constitution.

He assured that Japan would continue to strongly support Nepal’s efforts to consolidate democracy and to ‘build back better’ from the disastrous outcomes of the earthquake.

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