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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid