Millions vote in Nepal in crucial local elections

  |   World News

Millions of people in Nepal are going to the polls on Wednesday in the second phase of local elections to, despite threats from ethnic groups that oppose the elections. More than 162,000 security forces were deployed in the voting areas.

The local elections are being held for the first time in two decades in the Himalayan nation, which was wracked by a long-running Maoist uprising followed by a yearlong delay in passing a new constitution.

Ethnic groups in southern Nepal have called for a boycott of the polls, saying their demand for more territory in their province needs to be addressed first. Members of the largest of the groups, the Madhesi, say their population demands far more territory than the province they were granted by Nepal's new constitution. The constitution, adopted two years ago, sparked months of protests by the ethnic groups, leaving 52 people dead.

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