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Nepal polls: 20,000 flee to India

Source: PTI
February 09, 2006 02:18 IST
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Voter turnout in the first-ever Nepalese election after King Gyanendra abrogated all powers to himself in February 2005 was very low as major political parties boycotted the local body polls.

Thousands of people fled to India to stay away from the polls.

According to the Election Commission, by midday Wednesday, only 10 per cent of the voters had cast their votes in the eastern town of Biratnagar, Nepal News said.

One person was killed when troops opened fire on a demonstration, the army said.

Thin attendance was recorded at polling booths in several areas as people trickled into schools, temples and courtyards to cast their ballot in an election, viewed by many as the first real test of King Gyanendra's rule since he seized power.

The seven main political parties and Maoist rebels fighting to topple the King urged a boycott of polls.

The exact number of voters who fled to India is not known but it is estimated to be anywhere above 20,000 people, reports said.

Some of the candidates have also fled to India, the BBC said.


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