Nepal Votes in First Local Election in 20 Years Sunday May 14,2017
Voting began Sunday May 14,2017 in Nepal's first local elections for two decades, a landmark moment in the country's fraught transition to democracy.
Polls opened in three provinces at 7:00 am (0115 GMT), with nearly 50,000 candidates vying for the position of mayor, deputy mayor, ward chairman and ward member in 283 local municipalities.
With nearly 70 percent of the population aged under 35, many are electing their local representatives for the first time.
The local representatives were last elected in 1997 and their five-year terms expired at the height of the brutal Maoist insurgency.
The ten-year war ended in 2006 and the country began a rocky transition from a Hindu monarchy to a secular federal republic, which has seen it cycle through nine governments.
The long gap between polls has left an institutional void at local level, which has seen graft become a way of life in Nepal, hampering the delivery of basic services as well as the recovery from a devastating 2015 earthquake.