First-time voters voice their preferences

Kathmandu, May 9

Voters who will exercise franchise for the first time in their lives on May 14 are concerned about unemployment problems, quality of education in government institutions and development issues.

They said they would vote for candidates who were serious about local problems — drinking water woes, pollution, potholes on roads, traffic mismanagement — and had capability to generate and mobilise resources to address them.

National cricketer Subhash Prasad Khakurel of Ward No 29 of Kathmandu Metropolitan City said young candidates should get a chance in the local level elections. He said whoever won should have clear vision about development and locals’ problems. “I will vote for young candidates,” Khakurel added.

Rakesh Kharel of Ward No 24 of KMC said he would vote for candidates who had clear vision about local development and could address problems of youths.

Shreya Dahal of Kalanki said people in her vicinity had been facing problems while commuting, as roads were narrow and dotted with potholes. She said she would vote for candidates who would ensure better roads.

Sisir Acharya of KMC Ward No 18 said he would vote for candidates who were aware of locals’ woes. Acharya, an undergraduate student, said KMC residents wanted an end to pollution and drinking water woes and they also wanted maintenance of roads and sewage system.  “Old vehicles that have been polluting the city should be banned,” he said.

Rajan Thapa, 20, of Dhapasi, said he would vote for candidates who could generate jobs for youngsters. “Master’s degree holders have been compelled to compete for posts of temporary police personnel,” said Thapa.

He said he would not be dictated by the party of a candidate. Rather he would vote for young and educated candidates because he felt that young candidates could understand problems of youths.

According to Thapa, neither the government nor parties have been able to tackle the problem of unemployment, forcing youngsters to go abroad in search of jobs leaving their families behind. He said elected leaders should find ways to end the brain-drain and migration of the country’s workforce abroad.