"The counting of votes in various constituencies across the country has started," said a statement issued by the Election Commission.
    
Out of 240 constituencies, counting had begun in 77 constituencies of 24 districts, according to the statement.
    
More than 70 percent of the 12.147 million eligible voters cast their votes during the second Constituent Assembly elections. The percentage was an all-time high. In the last election in 2008 the turnout was 61.7 percent.
    
The counting was underway, even as ballot boxes from remote areas are being ferried to the respective headquarters.     Of the 27 constituencies where counting was in progress, NC and CPN-UML were leading in 12 and 8 seats respectively while Unified CPN-Maoist was ahead in three seats.
    
Madhesi parties Madhesi People Rights Forum-Democratic and Terai Madhesh Democratic Party were leading in two seats each, according to the latest trends.
    
NC and CPN-UML are leading in two constituencies each in the capital Kathmandu, according to the preliminary reports. The counting will lead to the formation of a 601-member assembly to draft a new Constitution, including 240 elected under a direct voting system. There was proportionate voting for 335 seats and the remaining 26 members will be nominated by the government.
    
People voted amidst tight security, with 200,000 security personnel, including 60,000 soldiers, deployed across the country on Wednesday. Voting was held at 18,438 polling centres. Voting at a polling booth in Depal village of Jumla district was disrupted due to unfavourable environment. The re-polling will be done on November 22, according to the EC.

(Agencies)

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