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Bhutan

Officials in Bhutan count votes in tiny Himalayan nation's second-ever national elections

Hundreds of thousands of people in the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan went to the polls Saturday to elect a government in the country's second parliamentary elections.Officials began counting the votes after polls closed, and the results were expected to be made public on Sunday, Chief Election Commissioner Kunzang Wangdi said. Nearly 382,000 people were eligible to cast their vote to elect a 47-member National Assembly."Preliminary estimates indicate that more than 80 percent of the electorate has voted," Wangdi said.Primaries held in May had eliminated three of five political parties, leaving Bhutan's ruling Peace and Prosperity Party and the main opposition People's Democratic Party in the fray.The remote nation of about 738,000 held its first election in 2008 after King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk voluntarily reduced the monarchy's role in running the country.Prior to Saturday's voting, election authorities had set up 850 polling stations, including in hard-to-reach mountain vil...

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