First-time voters against gerontocracy

Kathmandu, November 4

The age group, who are now between 18 to 22 years old, may not have grown considerably since the second Constituent Assembly election in 2013, but these voters have some powerful messages to convey.

Youths from across the country have said they are not voting for the same old leaders on the basis of party affiliation, but will cast their ballots in favour of those who bring novel ideas of development. These youths are looking for young leaders rather than repeating the same old generation leaders.

The majority of youths from various geographical and social backgrounds are excited about using their right to vote to bring in new faces as lawmakers.

Prasis Shrestha, 18, from Rabibhawan Kathmandu, a free style football enthusiast  said, “I still don’t know who I am going to vote for, actually I don’t even know who the candidates are, but I am so fed up with Budhatantra (gerontocracy) in Nepal, that my vote will definitely go for new leaders.”

Bhumika Tharu, 18, from Deukhuri Dang, who is taking acting classes in Kathmandu, took leave from her college to go back to her village to include her name in the voters’ list. Tharu said, “My parents want me to vote for the party they are voting for, but I am sure I am going to read the election manifestos of all the parties and vote accordingly, But I don’t want a repeat face to represent my area.”

Lalit Yadav, 21, from Parsa, an  intern in a local organisation, however, is sure who he is voting  for and for what reasons. Yadav said, “I have already made up my mind, and I am also lobbying for the candidate, He is young and I am sure that he will represent our voice in the Parliament.”

Similarly, youths of  Nawalparasi, Syangja, Rupandehi and Kailai also said they didn’t want the same faces repeated and so wouldn’t follow their parents’ suggestions.

Bhawana Parajuli, 21, of Nawalparasi, a student of management, wants to rebel against the old system by not following her parents’ path in the coming election.