Kathmandu: Voting began in Nepal on Sunday in its first local elections in two decades. Polls opened in three provinces at 7:00 am (0115 GMT) with nearly 50,000 candidates vying for the position of mayor, deputy mayor, ward chairman and ward member in 283 local municipalities.
A bomb was found early Sunday morning outside the house of a mayoral candidate for the main opposition CPN-UML party in Bhaktapur, 15 kilometres (nine miles) east of Kathmandu. A police team has already disposed of it and no one was injured.
The vote has been split into two phases because of unrest in the southern plains bordering India, where the minority Madhesi ethnic group is refusing to participate until an amendment to the constitution is passed. The remaining four provinces, considered potential flashpoints for election-related violence, will vote in the second phase due to be held on June 14.
Around 231,000 security personnel have been deployed for the two phases of the election, including 75,000 temporary police officers hired to boost manpower, according to the home ministry. Local government representatives were last elected in 1997. Their five-year terms expired in 2002, at the height of the country’s civil war, and their mandate