Female leaders forced to accept candidacy for second position
Sunsari, May 1
The Election Commission has mandated that all political parties must have a female candidate for mayoral or deputy mayoral posts at municipality level, and for chair or deputy chair posts at rural municipality level for the upcoming elections. Female leaders of major parties however have only chosen to run for the second highest posts, because they believe it is unlikely they will be nominated as candidates for top posts.
All Nepal Women’s Union central member and CPN-UML Sunsari district member Laxmi Gautam said she wished to run for mayor for her party. But, she is mulling over running for the post of deputy mayor.
“My name is on the list of both mayoral and deputy mayoral candidates recommended by the Municipal Committee. However, the party is hesitating to pick me, simply because I am a woman. I may have to make do with running for deputy mayor instead,” Gautam said.
CPN-UML Sunsari District Committee member Manju Bhandari was also eager to contest as a mayoral candidate for her party in Dharan Sub-Metropolitan City. Bhandrai, however, has changed her mind and is now willing to contest for the post of deputy mayor.
Bhandari believes that the election of a female deputy mayor will help to take the women’s movement to a new height. “I wanted to try to take the party ticket for mayor. But, I have changed my mind as I have staked the claim for the party’s candidate for deputy mayor”, she added.
Bhandari is confident that if she wins the party nomination she can clinch victory in the polls. “I have a high chance of winning,” she claimed.
Similarly, CPN-Maoist Centre has recommended Ganga Baral Paudel to contest for the post of deputy mayor at Dharan Sub Metropolitan city. Paudel said she was compelled to be content with the deputy mayor’s nomination though she wanted to run as a mayoral candidate. Paudel, who is Women Network Dharan’s former chairperson, said election of a female as deputy mayor would help empower women.
Likewise, Nepali Congress’ Himal Rai is thinking of running for deputy mayor from her party in Dharan. “Women were confined to four walls until not long ago. The opportunity to run for deputy mayor has given relief to some extent,” Rai shared.