WRAP Voting in elex intended to seal peace deal ADDS Prachanda, Carter



Kathmandu
1. Wide of polling station with voters queued up for voting; security
2. Mid of man being handed ballot paper
3. Mid of man casting his vote
4. Wide of man receiving ballot paper
5. Low-angle shot of man putting ballot paper in ballot box
6. Close of ballot paper being handed over to voter, tilt up to others in line
7. Low-angle shot of soldier
8. Mid of woman voting; tilt down to ballot box and woman placing vote in box

Chitwan
9. Various of the leader of the Communist Party of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, casting his vote

Kathmandu
10. Mid of former US President Jimmy Carter talking to election official
11. Pan polling booth
12. Cutaway of security personnel
13. SOUNDBITE: (English) Jimmy Carter, former US President:
“This is the first time we have seen an election in a long period of conflict change the structure of the government completely and open up the political process to formally marginalised people, so this is a revolutionary and wonderful experience for those of us who are international observers.”
14. Various of people standing in queues
15. Wide of voter holding ballot paper and walking towards polling booth
16. Wide of woman putting ballot paper in ballot box; another voter walking towards polling booth
17. Close of ballot paper being put in ballot box by voter
18. Wide of car being stopped at security checkpoint
19. Wide of security personnel on road
20. Wide of police truck

STORYLINE:

Nepalis voted on Thursday in a historic election intended to bring communist insurgents into the country’s democratic mainstream and expected to end a monarchy that has ruled for centuries.

Voters lined up before dawn across the country, undeterred by violence that marred the days preceding the country’s first vote in nine years.

The election has been touted as the cornerstone of a 2006 peace deal struck with the Maoists, as the former rebels are known, following weeks of unrest that forced Nepal’s king to end his dictatorship and restore democracy.

Security was tight with 17.6 (m) million people in the Himalayan country registered to vote at about 20,000 polling stations, some of them a seven-day walk from the nearest paved road.

The election was being monitored by some 100,000 observers, including notables such as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.

“This is the first time we have seen an election in a long period of conflict change the structure of the government completely and open up the political process to formally marginalised people,” Carter said.

”This is a revolutionary and wonderful experience for those of us who are international observers,” he added.

While voting was smooth throughout much of the Himalayan country, there was scattered violence, including an attempt to kill one candidate and the torching of a polling station.

Despite the disturbances, there was widespread optimism that the election would finally bring lasting peace and an economic revival to this impoverished land, where 60 percent of the 27 (m) million people are under age 35 and many were voting for the first time.

Significant challenges however remain after the election for the 601-seat Constituent Assembly, which will govern Nepal and rewrite the country’s constitution.

While all the major parties, from the Maoists to centrist democrats to hard-core royalists, say they will accept the results, election-related violence could easily provide a pretext for rejecting the outcome.

Then there is the complexity of the vote itself – a mix of direct elections and a nationwide proportional representation system with quotas for women and Nepal’s myriad ethnic and caste groups.

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Post time: Dec-15-2016