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CHAUTARA, Nepal – Nepalese in mountain villages and foothill towns are voting in the Himalayan nation's first provincial polls that promise to bring government closer to rural and remote areas.
Some 3.2 million voters are choosing lawmakers in seven newly-formed federal states as well as the national assembly and turnout is expected to be high.
The lawmakers who are elected on Sunday and Dec. 7 in the remaining part of the country will be able to name their states, draft provincial laws and choose local leaders.
Provincial elections are a key component of Nepal's path of democracy that began in 2006 when protesters forced the authoritarian king to give up power in favor of a republic.
Security has been stepped with thousands of police and army soldiers deployed for the elections.