(Update: adds info on violent incidents)
Kathmandu, Nov 20 (EFE).- At least one person was killed and four others injured in western Nepal after police opened fire during clashes related to general elections being held in the Himalayan nation on Sunday.
Around 18 million Nepalis were registered to vote in the election, the second to be held since the new constitution was approved in 2015, as the country seeks to leave behind long-term political instability which has led to no government completing its term in decades.
On a day marred by violent incidents, a 25 year-old man, Sanjeey Aaidi, died of wounds sustained from gunshots fired by security forces in Bajura, a spokesman for the Home Ministry, Fanindra Mani Pokharel, told EFE.
“The four wounded have been taken to Surkhet hospital (…) and voting was stopped on the spot,” he said.
Pokharel said security forces opened fire after a group of locals tried to steal a ballot box, leading to clashes in which one officer, Krishna Kunwar, was injured.
“Voting has been postponed in seven polling stations” due to electoral violence, Pokharel said.
In all, security forces opened fire at 15 locations across the country.
The poll will see 275 members of the House of Representatives and 550 members of the regional assemblies elected to office.
According to the Election Commission, some 300,000 members of the security forces had been mobilized to ensure a peaceful voting day, the results of which are expected on December 8.
After the counting of votes and a new parliament is elected, the process to choose the next prime minister will kick off in a country which has been governed by 27 PMs in the last three decades.
Nepal approved its new constitution in 2015 after a peace process that ended a decade-long civil war that first broke out in 1996 between Maoist rebels and official forces of the Hindu monarchy that ruled the country back then.
The main players in these elections are the social-democratic Nepali Congress led by incumbent prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and the opposition led by Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), the biggest left party headed by former PM KP Sharma Oli. EFE