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30 May 2017, 00:26 HRS IST
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    • 'Nepal local polls my victory regardless of whoever wins'

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    20:56 HRS IST

    From Shirish B Pradhan

    Kathmandu, May 19 (PTI)
    Prime Minister Prachanda today said the completion of the first phase of local polls in Nepal is his "accomplishment" and he feels victorious regardless of whoever wins the country's first local-level elections in two decades.

    "I feel I have accomplished a big responsibility by conducting the elections successfully with huge participation of people," Prachanda said.

    "Whoever wins, the victory is mine, the Prime Minister was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

    Stating that the successful completion of first phase of local polls on May 14 is his "accomplishment", he called on the Madhes-based parties to participate in the second phase of the elections with enthusiasm.

    "There are a lot of challenges in conducting the second phase elections, he told media in his home district Chitwan.

    I have called an all-party meeting including Madhes- centric parties to discuss the successful conduction of second phase polls.

    Millions of Nepalese on May 14 voted in the country's first local-level polls in two decades as the Himalayan nation took a crucial step towards cementing democracy amid political turmoil.

    Local-level elections could not be held after 1997 largely as a result of the decade-long Maoist insurgency that claimed more than 16,000 lives in Nepal.

    The elections should be held in every five years but due to the political instability, they were halted since May 1997.

    The Election Commission said that 4,888 representatives in 115 local bodies have been elected in 34 districts of Province number 3, 4 and 6.

    According to EC spokesperson Surya Prasad Sharma, 115 candidates were elected as mayors, 115 candidates as deputy mayors, 1,126 candidates as ward chiefs and 1,792 candidates as ward members, 898 candidates as women representatives and 842 candidates as Dalit members.

    So far, main opposition CPN-UML has won maximum number of representatives with 102 Mayor or chairpersons followed by ruling Nepali Congress with 97 Mayors or chiefs.

    The CPN-Maoist Centre belonging to Prime Minister Prachanda stood third with winning 46 Mayors or chiefs.

    In total, 73 per cent votes were cast during the polls.

    EC spokesperson Sharma also informed that the preparations for the second phase of local polls, slated for June 14, are underway.

    Some Madhes-centric parties have opposed the elections until the new Constitution is amended to accommodate their views: more representation in the Parliament and redrawing of provincial boundaries.

    The Nepal government has tabled a new Constitution amendment bill in the Parliament to address the demands of the agitating Madhesis.

    Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community.

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