Nepalis vote in historic CA polls

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Kathmandu, Apr 10 (UNI) Voting for the historic Constituent Assembly (CA) polls began this morning across Nepal to elect 240 representatives directly and 335 on proportionate representation.

Despite the cancellation and postponement of voting in some constituencies, the voting was going on peacefully, local media reports said.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala was the first to vote at Mahendra Adarsh Centre in Biratnagar in constituency Morang -7 at 0705 hrs (local time).

Maoists chairman Prachanda cast his vote from Chitwan constituency while Madhav Kumar Nepal of CPN-UML in Kathmandu constituency no 2.

According to the Election Commission (EC), there are 20,810 polling centres in 9,793 places to hold the election simultaneously.

Polling centres will be opened until 1700 hrs (local time).

There are 3,937 candidates, including 326 women party candidates, 42 independent women, 2,795 men party candidates and 774 independent men.

As many as 126,000 staff and 108,000 volunteers have been mobilised to manage the voting, the EC said.

Some 130,000 security personnel have been mobilised including Nepal Police, Armed Police and Temporary Police, the Home Ministry said.

Security has been beefed up across the country and air patrolling was going on in all the five development regions of the country.

''We have come to this important juncture of history after a long struggle and as we vote we are also making history,'' UML general secretary Nepal said after voting in Koteshwor in Kathmandu.

''After the election and the results are out, the first priority would be to decide the fate of monarchy and the kind of government that would be formed,'' he said.

''My 93-year old father was unable to vote in the CA election that was announced by late King Tribhuvan in 1951 as it was cancelled later,'' he said.

''But now I have cast my vote for the same election with my son and grandson and I am very happy for him and the country as a whole,'' Nepal added.

Meanwhile, The Himalayan Times reported that election was postponed in one polling centre of Arghakhanchi district as the Maoists torched ballot boxes and misbehaved with the election officials.

Voting was put on hold at five polling centres in Baglung district this morning.

UNI XC SKB KP1253

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