Nepal votes to elect new government to revive economy

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More than 60 percent of the Himalayan nation’s 18 million eligible voters cast their ballots in the election amid rising prices and unemployment.

Millions of voters in Nepal cast their ballot on Sunday to elect a new government, with rising prices, unemployment and political instability topping the agenda.

People stood in long queues to vote in the general election, which pits the alliance of centrist Nepali Congress party led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, against the Communist Party of Nepal – Unified Marxist Leninist, led by former Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli.

The Maoist communist party is fighting the election in alliance with the Nepali Congress party.

Nepal’s 275-member parliament and the 550 members of seven provincial assemblies are elected through a mix of first-past-the-post and proportional representation systems.

“I voted for economic development, ensuring jobs, food, clothes, education and health services,” said Rajesh Kumar Subedi, 52, who cast his ballot at a voting center in Phaimlamchuli, a suburb of the capital Kathmandu.

After polling closed, Chief Election Commissioner Dinesh Thapalia said 61 percent of the country’s 18 million eligible voters had cast their ballots, according to preliminary estimates, down from the 68 percent seen at the last election in 2017.


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