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Nepal: Maoists' victory march continues

By Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
April 15, 2008 16:42 IST
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Continuing their victory march, Maoists in Nepal have so far bagged 116 seats in the historic Constituent Assembly election held last week, just five seats short of a simple majority under the direct voting system.

With 601 seats up for grabs, the Nepali Congress of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has received 33, CPN-UML - 30, Madhesi People's Rights Forum - 21, Terai Madhes Democratic Party - 8, Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and Sadbhavana Party two each and Janamorcha Nepal and independent one each, out of the 214 results declared.

Maoists have secured 116 seats and need 121 to have a clear majority under the first-past-the post or direct voting system.

A further 26 seats to be decided by (FPTP) are still being tallied. Another 335 seats will be awarded by proportional representation.

In the landmark April 10 election, which will choose a body to rewrite the Constitution of Nepal, each voter was given two ballot papers -- one for choosing a candidate (direct system) and another for selecting a party (proportional system).

The counting for the 335 seats to be awarded by proportionate representation has also begun. Early trends showed that Maoists were leading with 32 per cent votes, followed by CPN-UML and Nepali Congress with 21 and 20 per cent respectively.

However, the former rebels may not get a clear majority under this system.

The elections for a total of 575 seats were held under both the Proportionate Representation and FPTP systems.

The remaining seats will be filled through nominations by the prime minister.

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Shirish B Pradhan in Kathmandu
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