News / Asia

Nepalis Vote to End Political Stalemate

Nepalis Vote to End Political Stalematei
X
November 19, 2013 5:49 PM
Voters in the Himalayan nation of Nepal cast ballots Tuesday for a new Constituent Assembly in hope of ending years of political gridlock following the abolishment of the monarchy and the creation of a democratic republic in 2008. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from Kathmandu, where the election was held amid tight security.
Nepalis Vote to End Political Stalemate
Aru Pande
Voters in the Himalayan nation of Nepal cast ballots Tuesday for a new Constituent Assembly in hope of ending years of political gridlock following the abolishment of the monarchy and the creation of a democratic republic in 2008.
 
While Nepal’s capital remained clear of traffic with vehicles barred from the road for Tuesday’s election, many of the country’s more than 12 million eligible voters packed polling places like this one in Kathmandu's historic Durbar Square.
 
Twenty-three-year old graduate student Niva Bajracharya has high expectations that a newly elected 601-member Constituent Assembly will help create jobs for the growing young population.
 
“We definitely want to do something for our country and for that we need the environment and we need the opportunity, because we can do the best for our country,” said Bajracharya.
 
But many here say in order to focus on the economy, infrastructure, and Nepal’s other pressing issues, politicians must learn to get past their differences.
 
As part of the peace process that ended the country’s 10-year civil war, former insurgent Maoists joined the government and won the most seats in the newly formed parliamentary body. Still, five years and several failed governments later, lawmakers have yet to agree to a structure of government or a draft constitution.
 
Constituent Assembly candidate and Buddhist Reverend Thapassi Dhamma says voters want peace and an end to the political deadlock.
 
“We are hoping that with this election, they will make a new constitution in Nepal,” said Thapassi Dhamma.
 
But drafting a constitution and coming to a consensus may not be so easy. A Maoist splinter group has threatened to disrupt the election.
 
Small bomb blasts have also been reported in and outside of Kathmandu. Thousands of police and military personnel deployed Tuesday to prevent further violence.
 
Up to 75,000 observers from more than 50 national and international organizations are here monitoring the election and ensuring the vote takes place freely and fairly.
 
Tulsi Thappa, an election observer with the Human Rights Council of Nepal, is traveling to polls, talking to those administering the vote as well those waiting to cast their ballots.
 
“We are observing the security situation and trying to determine if the voters feel fear or pressure to participate in the election,” he said.
 
Many Nepalis, like Anoop Sthepat, just want their vote to help move the former Himalayan kingdom forward.
 
“After this election, we think we will have a little bit of progress in our country," he said.
 
It’s a hope shared by the United States and others in the international community who will be watching closely as authorities count ballots to determine who, if anyone, can lead Nepal away from political dysfunction and towards greater stability.





  • Election observer Tulsi Thappa from the Human Rights Council of Nepal talks to voters in Kathmandu, Nov. 19, 2013. (Aru Pande/VOA)
  • People line up to vote in Kathmandu's Durbar Square, Nov. 19, 2013. (Aru Pande/VOA)
  • Security forces outside polls in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, Nov. 19, 2013. (Aru Pande/VOA)
  • Voters lined up to cast ballots in Kathmandu, Nov. 19, 2013. (Aru Pande/VOA)
  • Election observers talk to voters in Kathmandu, Nov. 19, 2013. (Aru Pande/VOA)
  • Security forces deployed for elections in Kathmandu, Nov. 19, 2013. (Aru Pande/VOA)

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More