Amid cries of foul play, Nepal's National Election Commission said yesterday that the counting of votes had ended in all but one municipality and the pro-king party had won most of the mayoral posts.
Vote counting ended yesterday for the prestigious post of Kathmandu mayor, where the candidate belonging to the pro-monarch faction of the National Democratic Party was declared elected.
The counting of the votes that began late Wednesday night across Nepal was marred by protests by participating parties and independent candidates.
Even though just about 20 percent of the over 390,000 voters cast their ballots in Kathmandu, the counting was delayed because of allegations of fraud during the vote count.
In the Nepalese capital, Raja Ram Shrestha emerged as the winner. He belongs to the Thapa faction of the National Democratic Party.
The pro-monarchy National Democratic Party split ahead of the municipal polls with the faction led by Home Minister Kamal Thapa opting to take part in the elections.
The other faction led by party president Pashupati Shumshere Rana stayed away from the polls and threw its lot with the seven parties agitating against King Gyanendra's direct rule.
According to the National Election Commission, the Thapa faction of the National Democratic Party won 14 out of the 34 mayoral contests, followed by Nepal Sadbhabana Party which won two mayoral seats.
The remaining mayoral posts in different municipalities went to independent candidates.
The vote counting in Birgunj, a town near the Nepal-India border, was still going on, the National Election Commission said.
The civic polls were held on Wednesday and despite appeals by government ministers, the voter turn out was extremely low, averaging just about 22 percent of about 1.4 million eligible voters in 36 municipalities across Nepal.
Nepal's political parties, mainly the centralist Nepali Congress and its breakaway faction the Nepali Congress Democratic and the communist United Marxist-Leninists, boycotted the polls saying that they were being held to "legitimize" King Gyanendra's seizure of power in February last year.
The Maoists also rejected the election and imposed a week-long nationwide shutdown from Sunday to obstruct the polls.
Though the Maoists said their shutdown would last for a week, they withdrew the general strike on Wednesday.
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
SPACE RACE: The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp mission aims to land a robotic rover and put a probe into orbit around the planet China is targeting a July launch for its ambitious Mars mission, which includes landing a remote-controlled robot on the surface of the Red Planet, the company in charge of the project has said. Beijing has invested billions of dollars in its space program in an effort to catch up with its rival, the US, and affirm its status as a major world power. The Mars mission is among a number of new space projects China is pursuing, including putting Chinese astronauts on the moon and having a space station by 2022. Beijing had been planning the Mars mission for some time this year,