Polling by and large peaceful in Valley

Kathmandu, December 7 

The second phase of parliamentary and provincial elections was held peacefully across Kathmandu Valley today.

Voting started at 7:15am in most of polling centres in Kathmandu-9 and 10, but in some centres voting was delayed as agents of the candidates turned up late, according to Bimal Panthi, assistant polling officer at Bag Bhairav Higher Secondary School polling centre.

Panthi also said voting took place more smoothly than the local level elections. “The relatively small size of ballot papers for the first-past-the-post system made it easy for voters to cast their votes. However, we had also deployed staffers to guide the voters,” he said.

Party cadres said there were very few incidents of disputes and clashes, which used to be normal during elections in the past.

Elderly voters said they could cast their votes without having to wait for long hours.

Sanu Kaji Dhakal, 94, who cast his vote from Prabhat High School polling centre in Chandagiri-6, said, “We had to spend hours at the polling centre to cast vote in the past, but today I saw people emerging from the polling station within 20 minutes after casting vote.

Political leaders closely observing the elections, however, complained of low voter turnout. Hishila Yami of Naya Shakti Party-Nepal said low voter turnout could mean that political parties were losing public trust.

Another NSP-N leader Karishma Manandhar, who was spotted at Kalanki poll centre, said political leaders should take the issue of low voter turnout seriously.