Stage set for Nepal Assembly Polls

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Kathmandu, Apr 9: Nepalis will cast two votes on Thursday. One of the votes will choose a candidate to represent their district and the second one will be cast to hoose a party. To ensure that women and ethnic and caste groups have a voice, each party has had to abide by certain quotas.

The elections have been delayed twice, in part because of an armed ethnic uprising in Nepal's southeastern plains. Though the situation is mostly calm now, a handful of ethnic Madhesi factions there continue to threaten candidates. Election Commissioner Bhojraj Pokharel has described the event as "not a normal election," but one that hopefully will bring peace and development to the people of the region.

The vote will take place two years after street protests forced King Gyanendra to cede power and brought the Maoists out of the jungle. Under a peace deal, the rebels agreed to sequester nearly 20,000 fighters and to lock up their weapons under United Nations supervision.

ANI

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