Nepal Goes to the Polls this Week

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The people of Nepal are expected to go to the polls in one of the most important elections in the history of the Himalayas nation. However, chaos erupted yesterday after militants affiliated to Maoism decided to shoot at politicians. This has happened on a number of occasions. Other politicians have had their vehicles blown up while the civilians have also been targeted by the militants. Close to 17 people have been seriously injured. Some of the attacks also involve the movie style of planting landmines under vehicles and along paths. One of the leaders of the party conducting these terror attacks released a statement saying that they wanted the election to be postponed. Others want it to be dismissed. The Times reported that the election would happen in two stages. This election, which has been referred to as the biggest democratic exercise in the country aims at filling positions at regional and national level. This is a country that has struggled with instability for the past 20 years.

At the same time, it happens to be a landlocked nation caught up between India and China. Back in 2006, the country changed to a democracy from a monarchy. This happened after the rebels that were Maoist sympathizers came to an agreement. Between 2006 and 1995, close to 17,000 people had died due to the power struggle. However, the nation could only adopt a new constitution in September 2015. The delay was as a result of political discord. However, things haven’t been good in the country as it was recently hit by an earthquake that killed 9,000 people. As for hundreds of thousands of people, they were left homeless.

Rebuilding the nation has become an issue for government officials. In a period of 10 years, the country has had 10 prime ministers, and the quick rotation has been identified as the cause of their instability. However, experts see the voting exercise as a potential bright spot for the nation. 800 seats in state assemblies and parliament are up for grabs. A former chief election commissioner in the country known as Bhojraj Pokharel said that the election is a big milestone for the tiny country. He called it a transformation of the country from an old Nepal to what they call a new Nepal. There is a new optimism in the country that wartime victims will be offered justice by the new leaders. While shifting in Nepal is common, coalitions are even rarer.

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