Nepal Votes Peacefully

Nepalis continue to surprise themselves… and the World. Didn’t we?

Today, Nepalis thronged at the voting booths to cast their votes in the Constituent Assembly Election that surprised almost everybody (the preliminary assessment is more than sixty percent vote casted). And, moreover, it went peaceful.

Despite the Young Communist League (YCL) behaviors, poll boycott calls by armed groups in Terai and the pro-monarchist anti-feeling (for the assembly elected by the election is set to declare Nepal a republic), it went peaceful – and that’s something that made everyone happy.

Four killed and the election suspended in 33 booths. The killing gives sad feelings but it’s less than in last parliamentary election (then it was half-a-dozen and that was not after a bloody conflict that killed 11,000 people). 33 is a small number among 20,889 total booths.

A Historic Day! A Historic Success!

Indeed. And, in reality the turnout percentage is very good. Considering that 1.5million Nepali are abroad and can not vote; a sizable number migrated and displaced due to conflict and there are duplications (my name is listed twice) and many in Kathmandu are also listed voters in their original districts.

Early morning, I went to Kaushaltar to vote thinking that it will be easier in the morning. It turned out that everybody was thinking the same. There were already more than four hundreds people queued up and that was everywhere (as I knew from peoples throughout the day).

Nepal Election

The enthusiasm of people was a worthwhile display of their optimism. The hope being, at least, the election will drive the nation to a path where, we hope will be peace.

When I participated in the anti-monarch rallies during April 2005, I was always surprised by the huge number of people braving the baton-charging police (for many of the participants, it was the case). We forced the King to step down.

Then, we surprised ourselves and the world on how easily we brought back the Maoists into the mainstream politics ending the decade-long bloody conflict in a peace accord that we prepared ourselves and signed ourselves.

Now, the election! (for many, this election was never going to happen – one of my colleagues lost Rs. 5,000 on bet for being one of such believers) and for even more, it was going to a bloodbath!

Let’s congratulates ourselves. Congratulations to all of us!

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