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Landslide win for Maoists in Nepal elections

Latest update : 2008-04-24

Nepal's former Maoists rebels took a clear victory in the country's landmark elections, with final results of the April 10 vote giving the ultra-leftists twice the number of seats than their nearest rivals.

Final results from Nepal's landmark elections gave the Maoist outsiders a clear victory with double the number of seats of their nearest rivals and favourites, officials said Thursday.
  
"We completed the nationwide counting of proportional representation late Wednesday night, and the Maoists have emerged well ahead," election commission official Matrika Shrestha told AFP.
  
The ultra-leftists have won a total of 217 seats in the new 601-member constituent assembly, whose first job will be to abolish the 240-year-old monarchy.
  
The Congress -- traditionally the dominant party in the Himalayan nation -- took just 107 seats, election officials also said.
  
The April 10 polls were a dual first-past-the-post and proportional representation system, and the Maoists had already secured 120 of the 240-seats up for grabs under the first-past-the-post system.
  
Counting for the 335 seats under proportional representation ended late Wednesday with the Maoists securing almost a third of the vote.
  
"The Maoists have got 29.27 percent of the total votes and the Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist)) received 21.13 and 20.33 per cent respectively," Shrestha said.
  
"This percentage will give the Maoists 97 seats under proportional representation," another election official Yam Bahadur Dura told AFP.
  
The new government is due to fill a further 26 seats.
  
The ultra-leftists' triumph looked to seal the fate of King Gyanendra who was forced to end a short period of direct rule in April 2006 after mass protests by the Maoists and mainstream parties.
  
Last December, Nepal's interim parliament agreed that the monarchy would be formally abolished in the first meeting of the assembly, before the body goes on to re-write Nepal's constitution.
  
The Maoists will head the new government that will be formed from the constitution-drafting assembly, but they say they are looking to build a coalition.
  
The elections were a central strand of a 2006 historic peace deal the Maoists signed with mainstream parties that ended their decade-long insurgency that left 13,000 people dead.

Date created : 2008-04-24

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