KATHMANDU, May 15: Many first-time voters, who constitute nearly 50 percent of the total eligible voter population in the country, were not for voting on the basis of political party affiliation in the local polls held Sunday.
Several individuals in Kathmandu Valley, who were excited to be voting for the first time in their lives, said they voted for candidates whom they considered to be better individuals.
Avash Khanal, a master's degree student of crisis management, said, “Our local leader should be a person with vision, honesty, good academic qualifications and trustworthiness who is committed to putting his words into action."
"So, I voted for someone I considered the better candidate,” added Khanal, who is from Surya Binayak Municipality, Bhaktapur
Sociology student Gyanu Sapkota, who voted at Banasthali in Kathmandu Metropolitan City, said that the elections should not be seen only as a right to vote. “We must have the choice of rejecting all the candidates if we think none of them is any good,” she said. “Today, I voted for candidates of good personal qualities instead of falling for hollow promises and good appearance,” she added.
Surendra Shrestha, 33, of Madhyapur-Thimi Municipality in Bhaktapur, said that he was very happy to have voted for the first time and to have voted someone who is for local development. “I never cared much about political parties but am for someone who is accountable and will promote democracy in the real sense,” said Shrestha, who works at Om Drugs Manufacturing Company.
Sundari Shrestha of Bhaktapur, who quit her studies after Grade 10, said she gave priority to the candidate rather than to the political party. “I believe a good person can contribute to society and the nation,” she said.
BBS student Amit Silwal and Sumit Silwal, a BIT student, voted at Balkot, Bhaktapur. They said they chose candidates with leadership qualities, good character, dynamism and vision. “We don't believe in parties as they give tickets to incompetent and disqualified persons at local and central levels. We want better candidates at both levels,” they added.
Priti Shrestha, also of Madhyapur-Thimi, argued however that she did not give priority to individual candidates. “A candidate alone can do nothing significant without a party philosophy. So I voted for political party rather than individual candidate,” she added.