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Apr 10,2008
Nepalese vote in election
by UPI

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Nepalese voted Thursday to pick a constituent assembly that will decide whether to end King Gyanendra's monarchy and make the Himalayan nation a republic.

An international team led by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter was on hand to observe the election in the landlocked country and last Hindu kingdom. About 17.6 million people are eligible to vote.

There has been widespread violence with at least 20 people killed in the run up to the election but on Thursday, Nepalnews.com reported polling was proceeding peacefully.

The election will be based on both proportionate as well as direct voting systems. More than 10,000 candidates representing 55 parties are contesting under the two systems.

The country is currently run by an interim coalition led by the Nepalese Congress party of Prime Minister G.P. Koirla. The coalition includes Maoists, who joined the government after waging a 10-year rebellion against the monarchy.

"This day marks the death of feudal monarchical system," one Maoist leader was quoted as saying.

The constituent assembly has been promised since the 1950s but has been held up for one reason or the other including pressure from the monarchy.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Maoists claims seven dead in police firing by UPI posted on Apr 09,2008

King Gyanendra defends Nepal monarchy by UPI posted on Feb 07,2008

Nepal to hold elections later in 2007 by UPI posted on May 31,2007

Nepalese premier shuns political rallies by UPI posted on Apr 01,2008

Nepal denies Chinese agents on it soil by UPI posted on Mar 31,2008

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