Saturday, October 27, 2007

Panchayat polls pass peacefully in Sikkim

Gangtok, Oct. 26: Excellent weather conditions and bright sunshine coaxed voters out of their homes for the panchayat elections across Sikkim today.
The polls remained peaceful with no untoward incidents reported from anywhere in the state till voting closed at 4pm today.
Elections were held for 304 village panchayat and 47 zilla panchayat seats. Of the 889 village panchayat seats, 585 had already been bagged by the ruling Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) without a contest. The ruling party also won 46 of the 93 zilla panchayat seats in a similar manner.
In all, 841 candidates were in the fray, 717 for the village panchayats and 124 for the district bodies.
Rough estimates by the state election commission after voting closed at 4pm, put the turnout around 80 per cent. While North district saw the highest turnout with 85 per cent of the people casting their votes, the East and South districts saw 75 per cent voting and the West recorded the lowest, between 65 and 70 per cent polling. The above data was provided by the commission at 3pm.
After voting closed at 4pm, the electronic voting machines were brought to the counting centres at the four district headquarters Gangtok (East), Gyalshing (West), Mangan (North) and Namchi (South) under tight security. The counting will take place on October 29.
Around 1.5 lakh voters were expected to exercise their franchise in 571 booths across the state today.