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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid