The poll is one of many that proves that Nepali youth are worried about their future, and the state of the country’s governance. It shows that they want to be active participants in resolving Nepal’s environmental and socio-economic issues since the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns began two years ago.
The Centre conducted online and offline surveys seeking to identify important issues for voters within different age groups in villages and cities. It has used data collected from the surveys to communicate the public sentiment to political parties, and engaged Nepali youth as local reporters to make voters at the local level aware about the issues ahead of elections.
Respondents were asked if they were registered to vote, were aware of who their elected officials were and what issues they wanted addressed during the upcoming elections.
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Almost all of the respondents were optimistic that they believed their vote would make a difference. As many as 79% of respondents confirmed that they would vote in the upcoming elections, with more than two-thirds of voters saying that they were willing to travel long distances to vote from their home districts.
This shows that rather than being cynical about Nepal’s democracy, they see it as a way to bring change in the future. The response is a relatively high figure for political engagement compared to what young voters say elsewhere in South Asia and the world.
The survey also found that young voters are not particularly impressed by how their elected officials have performed in the last five years. Indeed, while more than 80% of respondents knew who their current mayors, municipality chairs, and ward chairs were, a large majority did not want to see the incumbents running for office again, and definitely not re-elected.