(dpa) - Nepal's Maoist, former rebels Sunday extended their lead in the elections to choose a constituent assembly by winning nearly 60 per cent of the total seats declared so far.
The Nepalese election commission said the Maoists had won in 59 of the 104 constituencies where results were declared by Sunday afternoon.
Nepali Congress of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and the moderate Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN- UML) both had won 16 seats each, while an ethnic southern Nepal party - Madhesi People's Rights Forum, had won in seven constituencies.
The Maoists were leading in 56 of the 106 constituencies where counting was underway while the Nepali Congress was leading in just 17 constituencies, the election commission said.
Meanwhile, leader of the CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned as party chief taking moral responsibility for his party's poor showing in the elections.
Pre-election predictions had suggested that CPN-UML would become the single largest party in the constituent assembly.
The party also said it would opt out of the government due to its poor performance.
Voting was held across Nepal to choose a constituent assembly on April 10 as part of the peace process that ended the country's decade long communist insurgency.
Nepalese voted to choose 240 representatives directly and for individual parties to choose another 335 members on the basis of proportional representation.
The election commission has ordered re-polling in 75 polling centres of 19 constituencies in 12 districts.
Final results are not expected for at least three weeks but when the assembly meets, its first task will be to ratify the parliament's decision to abolish the monarch and establish Nepal as a republic.