KHOTANG, June 29: Nabaraj Giri of Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality-10, Khotang on Wednesday, had his first experience of casting vote in local level elections at the age of 28.
He seemed glad to vote for the candidate of his choice. Though Giri became eligible for voting ten years ago, he was deprived of exercising his voting right in the local elections due to political instability in the country.
Similarly, Khambir Sherpa, 26, of Rupakot Majhuwagadhi Municipality-13, Nunthala also voted for the first time in the local elections. Despite his eligibility, he had to wait for eight years to exercise his voting right. “After waiting for so long, I finally used my right to vote and I was really excited about it,” said Sherpa. Sherpa was in Qatar recently but he shortened his 13-month-long trip to the Gulf nation just to take part in the historic local elections. If the government had been able to conduct elections in every five years, many youths would voted much earlier.
Due to various political disputes and conflicts, many youths were deprived of taking part in the local elections. Those who were considered ineligible for casting votes in the 1997 local elections just by a few months or years have now become more than 35 years old. Even the children born in 1997 are now eligible for voting. Ram Chandra KC of Rupakot Majhuwagadhi-4, Khalle also had his first experience of local elections. During the local elections of 1997, he was 14 years old. “If the elections had been regular by this time I would have voted at least twice,” KC said. KC has even filed his candidacy for the post of ward chairperson from Nepali Congress (NC).
More than 50 percent of the population taking part in the local elections are first-time voters. Youths across the district enthusiastically participated in the local elections which also excited the elderly people too. People were suffering since a long time in the absence of local representatives so they voted for the candidates who could provide them employment and solve various other problems.