The Deuba government has time and again stressed its intention of starting elections by the end of 2061 BS according to the royal mandate. Some of the leaders of another party in the government, CPN-UML, have also expressed support for the government’s move to announce the general elections. However, at the moment, an amicable solution to the Maoist problem seems unlikely, as there has been mutual mistrust and apprehension between the government and the rebels. Amid this, it seems difficulat and very challenging for the government to conduct the general elections to form a government enjoying the popular mandate. An important question is how practical the decision to hold the elections is. The people in general and the political parties in particular have shown a lot of scepticism about the feasibility of holding the elections. On the one hand, the spate of violence triggered by the rebels will remain an insurmountable problem for the government, on the other, we already have the controversy over the distribution of the voters’ ID cards. The Election Commission, in coordination with the Home Ministry, had undertaken the task of distributing the ID cards in all 205 constituencies of the country. However, the task has been completed only in 51 constituencies so far. Elections sound good to all, especially when the people are fed up with the bloodshed and violence that have hit the Nepalis over the past ten years. But polls do not look viable, given the deteriorating security situation. Besides, the people will also have to bear the brunt of the tussle between the government and the anti-government forces if the elections are announced. A conducive atmosphere is necessary to hold peaceful polls.
It is no surprise bandhs have hit Nepalis in the morning as a rude shock on more than one occasion. I am a regular victim of this tragedy facing the country. It seems we are now used to living with frequent bandhs and strikes. The problem has reached such an extent that we no longer get to know who has called a strike and whether or not it is a hoax. Not that we look forward to bandhs, but we wonder what purpose such strikes serve for those who call them. Why are the political forces engaged in such exercises causing trouble to the people?
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I am a Nepali studying journalism and mass communication in the United States. I am also a regular visitor to your web site and it is nice to see the quality of news posted there. But there are certain things that need attention. The opinion poll has not been changed for a couple of months and I sometimes feel the site is a bit too drab. Also, the information on movies is not updated frequently. A lot of students like me love to collect information from your web page. It would benefit those of us relying on your site for information, besides others around the globe who are only recently familiarising themselves with Nepal. That is one way of promoting Nepal’s image, in addition to the effort of the Nepali media and the government to promote Nepali culture and tourism. Nepalis living abroad rely on web information for various purposes, including employment at home. An up-to-date web page addresses the problems of the readers residing abroad in various ways, including meeting employment deadlines in the face of stiff competition.
Amisha Agrawal, via e-mail