Nepal to hold parliamentary polls on November 26

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Nepal will hold elections on November 26 to choose new assemblies in seven provinces and a federal parliament, the first time polls for the House of Representatives is being held since the end of the monarchy in 2008.

Nepal will go to the polls on November 26 to choose new provincial assemblies and a federal parliament, the first time the country is holding elections to the House of Representatives after 239 years of monarchy ended in 2008.
 
Demonstrations forced King Gyanendra to end direct rule in 2006 and political parties voted to abolish the monarchy two years later. Nepal then embarked on a complete restructuring of the state and currently has a federal structure with seven provinces, but the demarcation of their boundaries has become a matter of controversy and debate.
 
A meeting of the cabinet on Monday agreed to recommend November 26 to the Election Commission as the date for holding both elections, said information and communications minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet.
 
The Election Commission will make other decisions regarding the polls in line with its logistic and preparations.
 
Nepal recently conducted elections to local government bodies in six provinces in two phases on May 14 and June 28, and polls for the bodies in Province no 2, mostly in the Madhes region, will be held on September 18.  
 
Lauding the government’s decision to hold the elections on November 26, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba said Nepal will truly embark on the path of institutionalising the federal republic after the holding of these polls.
 
“After completing these two polls, the country will able to ensure the rights of all communities,” he said.
 
The election timing is in line with the Himalayan nation’s first republican constitution, drawn up in 2015, that requires a new parliament to be in place before January 21 next year.
 
The parliamentary election will mark a personal triumph for Deuba, who was fired by the last monarch, King Gyanendra, in 2002. The king had called Deuba “incompetent” for failing to contain a Maoist insurgency and hold elections.
 
Nepal has been in turmoil since a decade-long Maoist conflict ended in 2006. One of Asia’s poorest countries, with nearly a quarter of its 28 million people living on less than $2 a day, the country has seen nine different governments since then.