It seems that elections are all around us at the minute. Maybe you feel like Brenda - “Not again” or maybe you're excited… ok, probably not.
|Supporters of one party campaigning down our lane|
Nepal, like the UK is gearing up for elections. These are taking place this coming Sunday, 14 May. These are local elections, but they are the first local elections to take place for about 20 years, although national elections took place in 2008 and 2013. Following years of political struggle, a civil war, and a constitution process that took 8 years, it feels like this is a significant step in the process of turning Nepal into a democracy. These elections will be for 700 village and municipality assemblies.
Electioneering is well underway in Kathmandu now. This last week flags of one of the parties have been put up on all the telegraph poles in our street. We have also had at least two groups of supporters come down our street. They have been in a large group of 20-30 people, with the flags of their party. Each party has a flag with a simple symbol in the centre so that they are easily identified for the illiterate and under educated, particularly in the rural areas.
Public Information Posters (click to see them in more detail)
This evening a group came along with a loud speaker on the back of a motor bike and a guy with a microphone shouting slogans and explaining why his party was the one to vote for.
We’ve also seen public information notices appear on walls near our house. As you can see from the photo, they include helpful pictures making it clear what inappropriate behaviour is at election time, including having a party with food to coerce people to vote for you and trying to get people to vote for your party by threatening them with knives and guns. Good to know.