Voters in rural areas uninformed about upcoming elections

Published On: November 8, 2017 05:50 AM NPT By: Giriraj Baskota

Election Commission and candidates yet to reach there

PANCHTHAR, Nov 8: Even as the upcoming elections are just 18 days away, Deu Maya Nepali, 54, of Panchthar district still does have the slightest idea about it. For her, words about the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections are nothing more than a rumor.

She was recently seen selling vegetables in Yasok, the center of Kumayak Rural Municipality. “I have no idea if the elections are happening. Nobody has knocked my doors to ask for votes this time,” she said. Two other women sitting along her nodded their heads in agreement.

In the previous local elections, she shared that candidates started visiting her two-three months ahead of the elections. 

“They came to us with various promises and offered us money. But not a single person has visited our household this time. Even if the election is happening, maybe this means they don't need votes,” added Nepali.

None of the women there knew how to vote. The concerned bodies of the Election Commission (EC) are yet to reach out to the isolated rural settlement to inform the locals like them about the elections. 

When asked about who is contesting from their area, none of them could give any definite answer. 

“It looks like you know about it. Perhaps you should go to those candidates and ask them why they didn't come to us to ask for votes,” said Ganga Khanal, one of the members in the group.

Likewise, voters severely lack voters' education. Many did not demonstrate knowledge on voters' responsibilities and how to cast votes. Adding to the embarrassment of the concerned authorizes, they too do not know what the elections are for. They even lack knowledge about the federal structure of the country.

Unlike in the local elections, candidates contesting in the parliamentary and provincial elections said they have not organized feasts and entertainments to appeal for votes. 
Locals of the neighboring settlements also expressed unawareness regarding the elections. Locals of Ranigaun, Majaungbung and Yasok among other villages said they have no idea about the elections.

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