Voting right is only granted to the genuine citizen of a country, and in possession of the citizenship card. The same holds true for Nepali nationals. But, it is appalling that over five million Nepalis working and/or studying abroad cannot exercise their voting rights unless they are present at the place where his/her name has been registered in the voters’ list on the date specified for the elections. This is the problem with those who are in foreign countries but are Nepali nationals. In fact, there are many countries which have granted overseas voting rights to their citizens. Nepal has only recently come to realise the need for the millions of Nepalese living abroad to exercise their franchise. Now, the basic problem is that the existing law does not provide voting rights to Nepali citizens who are not themselves present at the time the voting takes place. This means that, according to the Election Commission (EC), amendments have to be made in the law to provide voting rights to those living abroad and the absentee. To facilitate such people with their voting rights, the Election Commission has decided to conduct a probability study to make it possible for Nepalis living abroad to be able to use their adult franchise.
Here, two aspects of the voting rights are under consideration, first the Nepali citizens working and/or studying in a foreign country, and, secondly, those who have the voting rights but are unable to present themselves on the scheduled date of the election. The latter refers to pre-voting or the casting of votes prior to the actual date of the election. The EC’s initiative to send three of its Commissioners abroad to study how these two aspects of the abovementioned voting rights could come up for implementation as far as the Nepali citizens are concerned. To keep the Nepali citizens deprived of their voting rights cannot be justified, yet so far that has happened. However, the EC seems to be quite determined to rectify the lapse and provide the rights to the people concerned. Once the probability study is completed and the recommendations okayed, it becomes necessary to amend the laws related to this so that the Nepali citizens living abroad or absentee can also exercise their voting rights, the inalienable rights of a Nepali citizen.
As the crucial times are here, every Nepali whether in the country or abroad should have the right to exercise his/her voting rights. Herein, it must be remembered that the Nepalis living abroad have been sending in remittances going to the tune of billions, which have been propping up the economy. If the remittances only fall a little, the national economy goes through shudders. So, the Nepalis living abroad must be given due recognition for their contribution, and also should have the voting rights which had been denied to them so far. Of course, the foreign missions or consulates, among others, could house voting booths where the Nepalis who are there could cast their votes. Athough long overdue, the EC’s initiative in this regard is quite welcome. It would also mean that no Nepali should be deprived from exercising his/ her adult franchise.
In case of fire
The capital city is very vulnerable to fire. To add to the woes of the residents of the capital city, there are a pitifully few fire engines that are not sufficient to cope with the about two dozen major fires that
occur in the metropolis every year. Thus, it is with a certain amount of optimism the news that more fire engines are to be added soon will be taken. Furthermore, there will be five stations from which the fire engines will operate, meaning that the engines will be able to reach the fire sites more rapidly. However, the inner cores of the city mostly have narrow roads so it would be difficult for the fire engines to reach houses there in case of fire.
Furthermore, the Kathmandu Metropolitan City
is all set to levy a charge of Rs. 100 on each household of the city as fire engine service. There are an estimated one million people living in the city which
has around 100,000 households. Now that the
KMC has already decided to go ahead with charging the households under this heading, the residents of the capital expect efficient and reliable services from the municipality.