June 6, 2023, Tuesday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Choice for voters

Editorial

The Nepal Weekly
October 12, 2022

The broad and diverse framework of candidates competing for House of Representatives and provincial assemblies offers voters a great opportunity to choose their representatives freely as per their wish without fear in the general election 2022. The choices before them are multiple: they could opt for either one of the two models of practicing federal politics and governance – Oli model as demonstrated during Feb 2018- May 2021 or Deuba-coalition model being implemented since July 2021; or they could go for those dissenters who pressed for internal democracy in the party but failed and left parties. Two parties which represent Madhesh Movement have also forwarded their agenda in their own style pressing for key changes in the present constitution. Politicos seeking monarchy and Hindu Kingdom back are also in the race. A number of independent candidates who are seeking to offer a fresh alternative to traditional politics and governance are among the competitors. New generation youths and women including those linked with or related to traditional leaders are offering voters opportunities to change the country’s way of politics and governance in their innovative ways. The Election Commission has followed a systematic electoral process of allowing voters to pick up the candidates of their choice. It has built up a system for information dissemination and communication link for the purpose keeping in mind the great importance of the election. Since people could, through their votes, participate – exercise power of sovereignty – in decision making in politics and governance for the next five years, they should be both aware and conscious as they exercise their adult franchise. Those who are not familiar with the concept should be sensitized on this by media, civil society and campaigners in a fair manner. Those who know thenotion should be effortful in spreading its message actively and positively. Competing candidates and parties have also a great role in facilitating people to make choice wisely. No stakeholder of polls should minimize the importance of electoral process. No one should engage in anything that undermines the value of people’s votes. The tendency to consider voting as just another act of formality or political ritual is not helpful for democracy and democratic values. Nepal and Nepalis have sacrificed a lot for democracy. The electoral process of 2022 should therefore be implemented with a sense of accountability and it should be allowed to further enrich democratic values and institutions in the country. The same could be instrumental in strengthening the process and institutions considered highly essential  for implementing the constitution effectively.