I think it should have come about 7 years earlier – but better late than never. Headlines everywhere are that the Himalayan nation has voted to become the newest republic ending 240 years of monarchy. But I particularly liked the following headline on the BBC WorldService Radio at 03:00 GMT -
Nepalese decide to get rid of the king, without knowing who to replace him with.
Another day and I’m back in front of my computer screen hitting refresh button every so often for all the election results pages that are open on my browser. Here is my list of websites from where I am getting the latest updates (ordered by the frequency of updates):
- kantipuronline.com election results page: very frequent updates, and with intermediate results that can be viewed by district
- CafeDeNepal.com election results page: following very closely (and occasionally faster than) kantipuronline.com, and with intermediate results by district in one big table
- MySansar blog: frequent updates on results and other post-election events in Nepal
- nepalnews.com election results page: fairly frequently updated but a bit disorganised in presentation
And its extremely refreshing to see NC and UML fighting for the SECOND place!
I didn’t think I’d be glued in front of my computer screen to get results of CA election in Nepal, but I am. And my fingers are tired hitting Refresh button a zillion times since early morning (in fact since last night). Defeats of MKN, Bamdev Gautam etc. are some notable surprises in the early stages. And it seems the Maoists will emerge as the largest party in the CA judging by early results.
And of course living afar, getting up-to-date information is sometimes frustrating to say the least. Websites are often slow, and some seem to have stopped working, like the kantipuronline frontpage (see screenshot), although its election results page is working fine as I write these lines.
Too much traffic to handle?
The most reliable website, and with most up-to-date information I am getting so far is from MySansar – worth a click if you are trying to find out what is happening in Nepal (especially in KTM).
So the Constituent Assembly election in Nepal was largely free and fair, and with very few incidences, which certainly answered many of the sceptics – and that includes myself, I must add. Not that I was thinking the election will not happen, I just was not sure it would happen in a manner that was in stark contrast to the run-up to the election – with very little violence, and with very little accusations and counter-accusations of vote-rigging. Of course, the results have yet to come, so depending on how the major parties fare, we might start to see the complaints once the results are made public. Especially seeing the UML slipping behind the Maoist and the NC in initial stages of the count, and some of its politburo leaders likely to lose (one has already lost in KTM 1), it would not surprise me if MKN and others cry foul. However, if the observers declare the process free and fair to a large extent, then the losers will have very few issues to complain about, and their complaints will not have as much legitimacy.
As for the showing at the CA election, Maoists must themselves be surprised at how well they are doing, especially when we consider some of their pre-election tactics of threat, intimidation and violence against the other parties, mainly through YCL. I bet they are now regretting not controlling YCL’s thuggish behaviour during the election campaign. YCL’s antics must have cost them a good percentage of votes, especially in closely-fought areas, where it might cost them the seats which they could otherwise have won. Of course, we just have to wait and see if that will be the case. Initial counts certainly show however that the people might have decided to give Maoists a chance, as they had asked during their campaign.
Every morning I wake up to BBC Radio 4′s today programme and this morning was no different, the waking part. But the news item seemed to come thick and fast this morning compared to other mornings. One of the news anchors was in Washington DC covering the US midterm elections, and he was speaking so fast about the results so far, it was difficult to take in all the information he was providing. The gist of his reporting was that the Democrats have gained a majority in the House of Representatives and are head-to-head with the Republicans in the Senate election. Right after the US election news came the news of Nicaragua’s presidential election, which former revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega won – a bad news for the US !?! I was more interested in whether they would report from Nepal on last night’s “historic” agreement between SPA-govt and the Maoist. So far, they haven’t reported it yet, but they might report later…still waiting.