Nepal awaits remote vote tally to give final election result

Other News Materials 23 April 2008 15:23 (UTC +04:00)

Nepalese Election commission Wednesday said it was awaiting results of a vote count from a remote western Nepal district before announcing the final outcome of the election held nearly two weeks ago, reported the dpa.

"Counting is continuing in just one constituency in western Nepal district of Surkhet," the Election Commission said. "We expect the counting to be over by evening and the final vote count for proportional representation could be announced by Wednesday night."

The Maoists had secured 29.5 per cent of the nearly 10.4 million votes counted under the proportional representation well ahead of its nearest rival Nepali Congress which had 21.2 per cent.

However, allocation of seats and nomination of members by the political parties for the 335 seat which were up for grabs under the proportional representation is expected to take another 10 days.

"Once the election commission allocates the number of seats to parties, they must submit nominations within 10 days," Election Commission Spokesman Laxman Bhattarai said.

The Maoists who won 120 of the 240 seats contested through direct voting is expected to win another 100 seats through the proportional representation but is predicted to fall short of the 301 seats needed for a majority.

The Maoists have already said they will lead the next government and called on the seven party alliance to continue with the coalition.

However, the Nepali Congress remains noncommittal on the issue and the moderate Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) has already withdrawn from the interim government citing its poor performance.

The election to choose the constituent assembly was a key part of the peace process that brought the Maoists into mainstream and ended a decade-long communist insurgency which left up to 14,000 people dead.

The first task of the assembly will be to elect a new government and ratify the decision of the interim parliament to abolish monarchy.