Kathmandu: As the November 20 elections are less than a week away, most people are talking about election manifestos of the political parties, how top leaders of major parties are campaigning and their prospects of winning or losing. But what do the youths, who are the first time voters, think about the upcoming polls? Nepal Live Today asked a few youths from different locations of the valley.
Sikha Neupane, 19, from Suryabinayak-7, who is the first time voter, hopes that the election will be free and fair. “I hope the poll will be free and fair and it does not take a long time for the results to be out,” she said. “I am excited to vote because we have better candidates this time. I am expecting changes mostly in the education and healthcare sectors.”
Sindhuja Tamang, another youth of 19 years of age, wants those leaders who do what they say in their manifesto to win. “Independent candidates might be better. Look at the good works Balen Shah is doing. We don’t hear much about what other political leaders are doing.”
She says that every eligible voter should cast a vote because every vote counts. “Take all your eligible family members to vote. Tell your friends and neighbors to go and vote for the right and the best candidate,” Tamang said, who is permanent resident of Dhading. According to her, when elected, the candidates should work to improve the conditions of roads and footpaths, ensure proper functional traffic lights and systematic lanes for pedestrians and bicycle riders.
Khushiyali Moktan, 19, of Swoyambhu, wants people who actually care about the general public’s needs to win. According to her, they should address the issues of mental health and empowerment of the youths. “Mental health should be prioritized as well as youth empowerment,” she said.
Pratistha Niraula, 19, of Kathmandu, wants those who can address the concerns of the youths to win the election so that they can realize their dreams without having to go to the foreign countries. For this, she wants to see new faces win. “My expectation is the rise of new faces, well-established systems and the end of conservative politics,” Niraula said. Niraula will try to make this possible by exercising her right to vote. “I was not able to vote before because of my age. This time I am very excited to use my right to vote,” she said.
On his part, Rajat Gaudel,18, of Banke district, is positive about the election but does not expect much from any political parties. “I don’t have any expectations from any political parties as it takes years to form a good political environment and it takes even more time for the government to work on the development and solve problems that people are facing,” he said. Gaudel, however, knows the most pressing problem of the time. “I hope that after this election, the liquidity crisis will be solved and interest rates and taxes will be lowered to support businesses,” he said. “So that our economy will be more stable.”