Local Elections in Nepal
For the first time in 20 years, there are going to be local elections in Nepal. They are normally held every five years, but political instability has prevented this.
Local elections were attempted in February 2006 under King Gyanendra. They were boycotted by the major political parties and there was a low turnout. The last successful local elections were held in 1997. Elections were supposed to be held on 2002 but were delayed because of the Civil War.
The new constitution was signed in 2015. Since then the Government of Nepal has spent considerable time and effort in dividing the country into seven provinces. The intention is to help ensure that all ethnic groups in Nepal are fairly represented.
The elections will take place in three of the provinces on 14 May. The other four provinces will vote on 14 June.
On 14 May voting will be taking place where INF is working in Pokhara, Gorkha, Surkhet, Jumla, Kalikot and Mugu Districts, as well as Kathmandu.
INF leaders will be involved in a series of meetings in Kathmandu and Pokhara during May and it is possible that travel will be disrupted. Some will be travelling within Nepal and others will be arriving from outside the country.
On 14 June people in Banke, Bardia, Bajura, Dang, Rolpa, Kapilvastu and Baglung Districts will be voting.
The importance of the elections
This is an historic time in the development of Nepal. It is important that the elections are conducted fairly, peacefully and without intimidation. The future stability of the nation is dependent on people of all castes and ethnic groups feeling that they are represented.
According to the Election Commission Nepal, there will be a total of 10,640 polling locations and 18,572 polling centres for the 14 million voters.
The local elections will pave the way for national elections later in the year.