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The new challengers

Pratik Ghimire

Pratik Ghimire

The new challengers

The groundswell of urban voters’ support to independent candidates in the May election has made parties realize they cannot risk fielding political stooges and placement in the upcoming polls

Call it ‘Balen effect’ or ‘Sampang effect,’ many young and educated people have declared their independent candidacies for the November elections, and the old-established parties feel unsettled. 

The groundswell of urban voters’ support to independent candidates in the May election has made parties realize they cannot risk fielding political stooges and placement in the upcoming polls.

Anthropologist Laya Prasad Uprety says the wave of independent candidacies in local and national elections is a sign that Nepali voters, mostly youths, are deeply disenchanted with the established political parties.

“Since 1990, Nepali political parties have failed to work for the interest of people. And many of today’s young generation see these parties and their leaders as part of the problem,” says Uprety. “That is why we are seeing a rise in independent election candidates.”

Political analyst Lok Raj Baral has a different thought regarding the rise in independent candidates.  

He says there is a significant difference between local and federal elections. “Yes, the effects of Balen and Sampang’s victory in the local elections might sway some voters to pick independent candidates, but it cannot make that much of a difference to hurt the established parties.”

Full story here.