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Nepal: Voting for by-elections to elect 52 people’s representatives is underway in 37 districts

The 52 vacant posts include one member of the House of Representatives (Lower House of the parliament), three provincial assembly members and 48 chiefs, deputy chiefs and ward chairs of local levels. The voting started at 7 AM and will continue till 5 PM. There are 247 polling stations and 527 polling centres for 454,114 for voters. The Election Commission of Nepal has made all necessary arrangements for free, fair and peaceful elections.

A total 337 candidates including 84 women are trying their luck in the first elections being held after 2017 historic three tier elections. Although by-elections are being held for 52 seats, all eyes are on Kaski-2 parliamentary Constituency, which fell vacant after Tourism Minister Rabindra Adhikari lost his life in a helicopter crash in February this year. The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has fielded his wife Bidhya Bhattarai from this high profile seat, while Khem Raj Paudel is contesting from main opposition, Nepali Congress.

The election is seen as a popularity test for K.P. Sharma Oli government. The left alliance had registered landslide victory in 2017 elections with almost two third majorities in the House of Representatives. NCP had also formed governments in six out of seven provinces and won in most of the local bodies. 

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