Maoists win 23 seats in Nepal, lead in 65

April 13th, 2008 - 11:09 am ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, Apr 13 (ANI): Nepal’s Maoist took an early lead in an election aimed at cementing a peace deal that ended a decade-long civil war in the country.

Early tallies from Thursday’s vote show the Maoists lead in 65 out of 122 constituencies where counting has begun.

They have also won 23 out of the 33 constituencies where results have been declared, election officials said.

Maoists say they are committed to democracy but are still classified as a terrorist organisation by the US.

“This is the people’s victory,” hundreds chanted outside a counting centre in Kathmandu, many with the hammer and sickle painted on their faces or with Maoist flags wrapped around their heads.

Final results of the election, Nepal’s first in nine years, could take around 10 days and are almost certain to lead to a coalition government, analysts say.

An elected 601-member special assembly is supposed to write a new Constitution and usher in a Republic in the impoverished Himalayan state, ending a 240-year-old Hindu monarchy.

Maoists’ leader Prachanda won a landslide victory in his constituency. He emerged from a counting centre with his forehead smeared with vermilion and his head swathed in layers of marigold garlands.

“We will create a stronger basis for sustainable peace … economic development and a Federal Republic by including all sections and communities of people, he said.

There are 240 seats decided on a first-past-the-post basis, with another 335 seats decided by proportional representation and 26 to be nominated by the Cabinet. (ANI)

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