Nepal elections: Voting begins for new govt able to revive economy

About 18 million eligible voters began voting in Nepal’s general election to elect new federal and provincial legislatures. Nepali women in saris and men in jeans were standing in long queues to choose a government that can quickly revive the economy.

People are voting for the 275-member parliament and the 550 members of seven provincial assemblies through a mix of first-past-the-post and proportional representation systems.

Speaking to Reuters, Rajesh Kumar Subedi, a 52-year-old employee who was the first to vote at Phaimlamchuli voting centre, a Kathmandu suburb, said that he has voted for economic development, ensuring jobs, food, clothes, education, and health services.

The ruling alliance of the Nepali Congress party led by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and some former Maoist rebels is contesting the general elections against the Nepal Communist Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) party. Political analysts expect the ruling alliance to retain power.

Polling will be closed at 5 pm (1115 GMT) and the final result declaration would take up to two weeks, according to the Election Commission, Reuters reported.

Another voter, Prakash Thapa said, “We need political stability for faster growth of the economy and a government that can guarantee security to investors.”

In Nepal, the government has declared a holiday for Sunday, polling day.

Since the abolition of the monarchy in 2008, Nepal has had 10 governments so far. All the political parties have promised to bring down prices, create jobs and boost the economy at nationwide rallies.

Political analysts also said that a new government would face the challenge of reviving the economy and curbing high prices, as per Reuters reports. 

In Nepal, there are fears that a global recession might reduce remittances, which account for about a quarter of the gross domestic product (GDP). Tourism has also yet to recover in Nepal, which contributed around 4% to GDP before the Covid-19 pandemic.


(With Reuters inputs)








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