NEW DELHI, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- The Indo-Bhutan border has been sealed since 6 a.m. Sunday as Bhutan goes for elections on next Monday, Indian police said Sunday.
The police in India's eastern West Bengal said that the border will remain sealed till 6 a.m. on Jan. 1 to ensure that border crossers might not make trouble.
Bhutan is all set for Monday's historic parliamentary elections to end a 100-year-old monarchy. An estimated 310,000 registered voters are eligible to exercise their franchise in the kingdom of 700,000 people, to elect 20 members to the National Council or the upper house of parliament.
"We are ready for the vote with poll officials on their way to their respective voting centers. A total of 48 candidates are in the fray," Bhutan's chief election commissioner Dasho Kunzang Wangdi said. Tight security measures have been adopted in border area with India, he said, according to the Indo-Asian News Service's report.
Polls to the National Assembly or the lower house are scheduled for February 2008. Bhutan's first elected prime minister will be from among the National Assembly members.
A national holiday has been declared for the vote. International observers from India, the United States and Australia would be monitoring the polls with a five-member team representing the United Nations as observers.