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Nepal local elections: Elderly’s excitement sparks hope for the growth of grassroots democracy

May 11, 2022 2507

Kathmandu, The election fever has engulfed Nepal on Friday as people from all walks of life are walking to their polling stations to cast their votes in the local elections.

Observers say the excitement senior citizens have exhibited appears promising to the growth of grassroots democracy.

In Byas municipality-7 in Tanahun, 99-year-old Birkha Singh Gurung came to the polling station on a stretcher. His son Narayan Gurung assisted Birkha Sing vote. A few kilometres away, 100-year-old Krishna Pandit was seen in ward number 4 of Byas municipality.

“I feel happy to have voted,” he says. “I hope people reach my age and get to vote multiple times.”

In Bhimdhunga in Nagarjun municipality in Kathmandu, 96-year-old Kaila Tamang came to vote with an oxygen cylinder beside him. He was carried to the polling station by his grandson and was joined by his 86-year-old wife Kaili Tamang and their children.

Rolpa also saw a centenary vote during the local elections this time. In ward number 1 in Thabang, 101-year-old Puni Gharti voted. Gharti’s son died in the armed conflict. Since she could not walk, she was carried to the polling station by Samjhana Gharti Magar, a former central member of the Nepal Communist Party led by Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplav’.

In Mugu, 97-year-old Bhuwa Singh Thapa walked for over an hour to go vote in the local elections in his polling station in Khatyad rural municipality ward number 7. It is highly likely that he is the oldest voter in the area. In ward number 7, three brothers mourning the death of their mother also voted.

Similarly in Rupandehi, 86-year-old, Gangadhar Rijal voted in Tilottama municipality ward number 8.

Voting that started at 7 am in the morning will go on till 5 pm in the evening.

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