At 17, Yearning To Cast A Ballot

HEMJA, Banskot, Nepal – I live my life in one of the richest countries in natural resources. I live in Nepal.
Last month, we had an election for our constituent assembly, and most of the people over age 18 were happy because they were going to choose the leaders they liked most.
But I wasn’t happy because at 17, I am too young to vote.  My sadness comes from the fact that me and most of my friends my age think that the leaders can’t understand the desires
of 21st century youth.
This was the second time Nepal held elections since 2006, when our civil war ended and a temporary government and constitution was created.
In 2008, the people elected an assembly to write a permanent constitution, but the leaders didn’t do a good job. Because of their constant bickering they weren’t able to select suitable leaders.
Elections, which were supposed to have been held every two years, were finally held again on November 19.
The people of my village were excited about this election because it gave them a chance to select the best candidate who will develop what our village can offer the
people for education, health, sports and entertainment.
The most important thing our village needs to do is provide good jobs for young people. Most of the youth here are unemployed. They want to have the same opportunities as the youth of developed countries like America and China.
So when Election Day came, I couldn’t vote, but I got to witness the excitement in my village. People started to vote from the morning at 7 a.m. until evening, about
5 p.m.
All the people were happy to vote for their favorite leaders and villagers wore new clothes to go to the polls.
On the next day, we heard the news that the candidate of the Communist Party of Nepal, the Unified Marxist-Leninist, or UML, won the election in my district. I felt shocked because most of the people from my village are the supporters of the other party, Nepali Congress, but their candidate lost.
I also feel sad because I am a supporter of the Nepali Congress Party. I always support this party because it is democratic and the leaders of this party did a lot for the development of Nepal. This party is also good because in the past, its leader helped stop the Maoist violence and got them to play an active role in the democratic process.
The villagers were also sad because their candidate lost the election and they think that the other party will not offer solutions to develop our village.
As for me, I hope the new leaders will be good ones for the development of the village and solve the unemployment problem here. I’m also interested to see how our newly elected
leaders will manage to fulfill the wishes of the 21
st century youth in my village.
Santosh Poudel is a Junior Reporter for Youth Journalism International.