KATHMANDU, Oct 23: Nepal is more or less in an election mode at present. With news about the election manifestos of different political parties, candidates standing up for the election, and myriad of election campaigns making headlines on a daily basis, how excited are the country’s youths regarding the same?
If you’re 18 or older, you have the legal right to vote. This means you have the chance to choose your own leaders, who you think will bring about the desirable changes in the country. With the second Constituent Assembly Election scheduled on November 19, how excited are you about casting your vote? What expectations do you have from this election?
In this edition of Campus Talk, we went to People’s Dental College at Sorhakhutte, Kathmandu to talk to the final-year students of dentistry about the upcoming election.
Sumita Manandhar: I’m originally from Pokhara, so my name has been registered on Pokhara’s voters’ list. I’m really excited about the upcoming elections, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to cast my vote, because I have to take my college examinations during the same month. I know that the election is important, but I can’t risk my studies and postpone my preparation for the exams to travel all the way to Pokhara and cast my vote. However, I do hope that the election will be conducted throughout the country in a peaceful manner. I also hope that only such candidates, who are really committed to developing the country, will win. We really can’t afford to elect yet another set of self-centered and corrupted leaders.
Rajina Pradhan: I haven’t registered my name on the voters’ list because I don’t really care about it. So there’s no question of me casting a vote in the upcoming elections. I don’t even know who all are standing up for the election this year. But the buzz is that many young and capable candidates are competing for a seat at the Constituent Assembly, so I guess there’s room for hope. Like every citizen of Nepal, I hope the election will conclude peacefully, and that there won’t be any strike or other disturbances. This way, our studies will also go on smoothly and no one’s life in the country will be disturbed.
Navin Singh Mauny: I’m on the voters’ list of Mahendranagar, and like Sumita said, I too won’t be able to travel all the way to my hometown to cast my vote since we’ll be totally focusing on our exams to be held in the same month. It’s really unfortunate for me to miss this opportunity of having my say at the selection of a leader of my choice, but I do expect that those who take part in the election will cast votes in favor of such candidates, who can bring about peace throughout the country. The chosen leaders should be educated, and have the ability of bringing together people of all backgrounds for a good cause.
Eliza Dangol: This will be my first ever participation in the election as a voter and I’m really excited about it. I haven’t yet decided who I should vote, but I should have an idea soon. However, I think it’s really unfortunate for different parties to get involved in unhealthy competition to win seats at the Constituent Assembly. News of candidates being attacked and killed is very discouraging. This could take away all the hope from Nepalis, who have otherwise agreed to give a second chance to the leaders. I believe that the election will be able to bring to power those people who can work for the benefit of all Nepalis. Since the rural areas of Nepal require more attention in terms of infrastructure development, I’m hoping that after the election, the leaders will shift their focus to these places.
Kusum Lamichhane: I too am voting in the upcoming election, and I’m really very excited. I feel that we youths should be concerned about our country’s politics. Accept it or not, we are affected by the country’s politics directly or indirectly. I hope that the election process goes smoothly, without much disturbance on the daily lives of the citizens. Proper security system should be arranged so that people can participate in the election fearlessly, without having to worry about the conflicts that may arise during and after the election.
Linda Shrestha: I have registered my name on the voters’ list but I’m not sure about casting my vote. Since I don’t know any candidate who is worth the vote, I probably won’t vote at all. However, I expect the election to be fair and just. I also hope that the political parties won’t conduct any manipulative election campaigns. I think it’s very important for independent organizations to make people aware about the election process and impart the necessary voters’ education before it’s too late.
Rabina Shrestha: I’m definitely using my right to cast a vote in the upcoming elections. In fact, I strongly believe that youngsters are the ones who can actually make a difference and lead our country. So they should compete in the election and actively participate in mainstream politics. Youngsters have the ability and energy in them to unite the people from all walks of life, so they should be given a chance.
Nisha Amatya: The upcoming election should bring forth such leaders, who can speak up for the less fortunate women and children. They should make sure opportunities are created all across the nation, and not just in a few selected areas. It would have been better if more women had stood up to compete in the election, since the female population is comparatively more in Nepal. However, I am excited about casting my vote for the right candidate in the second Constituent Assembly.
Barsha Shrestha: I’m not much interested in politics, and I’m not aware about many things regarding the upcoming elections. To be honest, I don’t have time to talk or even think about politics since we have a really tight schedule at college, and my education is my number one priority. My family members and relatives aren’t that interested in politics either. I don’t know what to expect from the elections in November, but I do hope that the citizens’ expectations and enthusiasm won’t go in vain. I hope nothing unfortunate will take place in the process and that everything falls in place with proper rules and regulations. And no, I’m not voting.
Sujata Ghimire: I’m very much looking forward to the election. While I’m excited to cast my vote, I also am praying really hard that the candidates we collectively choose won’t disappoint us in any way, and will sincerely work toward building a new Nepal in the truest sense of the word. Since there’s a wide gap between the rich and poor in Nepal, I hope that the leaders will work toward narrowing the gap. They should make sure that the policies they make emphasize on the upliftment of Nepalis.
Kripa Bajracharya: I’m also planning to vote. Like my friends said, I want the election to be conducted in a peaceful manner. I hope that wise leaders who can form a stable government will win this election, so that we don’t need to suffer due to the lack of a strong government in the future agai