Voting is under way in Nepal's parliamentary elections, where citizens of the Himalayan nation are expected to endorse parties that will oust the 240-year-old monarchy, reports AFP. UN observers have commended a high turnout despite eight deaths in protests ahead of today's polling, the centerpiece of a peace deal between Maoist rebels and mainstream political parties.
No fewer than 54 political parties are contesting today's elections, but the large majority of them are republicans. The current king, who ascended the throne after the 2001 murder of his brother, is deeply unpopular in Nepal and expects to be deposed. Jimmy Carter, who is in Kathmandu as an election observer, called today's vote a "revolutionary election" that will "open up the political process to formerly marginalized people."