Nepal celebrates peaceful vote as results trickle in
Results trickled in Friday as Nepal celebrated surprisingly peaceful elections contested by Maoists and mainstream parties which are set to turn the Himalayan kingdom into a republic.
The vote on Thursday was a key plank of a peace deal with the Maoists to elect an assembly that will rewrite the constitution and is likely to abolish an unpopular Hindu monarchy.
Despite fears that polling would ignite violence, only sporadic incidents took place in a country still recovering from a decade of civil war which left 13,000 dead.
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon congratulated Nepal on the vote, which he said "took place in a generally orderly and peaceful atmosphere."
"Nepal stuns world, itself," read a banner headline in the English-language daily The Kathmandu Post.
"The Nepali people have once more proved doomsayers wrong," said the Nepali Times.