Nepal shuts borders with India, China ahead of local elections

Kathmandu, May 11 (EFE).- Nepal has shut its international borders with India and China for a period of 72 hours starting Wednesday for the upcoming local elections on May 13.

The decision to shut the borders has been taken to prevent any untoward incidents during the elections that will be held in 753 local units this week, Home Ministry spokesperson Phanindra Mani Pokharel told EFE.

“All the border points have been sealed from midnight until Friday. Only emergency services are allowed,” he said.

Nepal shares a land border of 1,880 kilometers (1,168 miles) with India and nearly 1,400 kilometers (870 miles) with China.

During this period, the consumption and sale of alcohol has also been banned.

The Airlines Operators Association of Nepal said in a statement that all domestic flights, except those for rescue and relief efforts, will be suspended on the day of the elections.

However, operations of international flights will continue as usual.

Moreover, public and private transport, except for emergency purposes, are not allowed to ply on the roads from 6 am (local time) to 5 pm on Friday, according to the Home Ministry.

The Nepal Tourism Board said that special shuttle services have been arranged to facilitate the movement of foreign tourists on the election day.

Nepal is holding local elections for the second time since the promulgation of its new constitution in 2015.

Unlike in 2017, when the elections were held in three phases, this time the country will be holding local elections in just one phase.

The elections will serve to decide people’s representatives at 753 local units, six metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities and 460 rural municipalities.

According to the Election Commission, 35,221 representatives will be elected to its local units. EFE


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