Nepalis upbeat as country goes to polls

MUSCAT, Nov 27 – The Nepalese living in the Sultanate are upbeat as their nation held its first phase of election on Sunday. The second phase of polling will take place on December 7.
“Our people are excited about the elections and very hopeful,” Sarmila Parajuli Dhakal, Nepal’s first Ambassador to Oman, told the Observer.
Around 17,000 Nepalese live and work in the country. They, however, cannot cast their vote in the
elections.
Nepal will elect 275 members to the House of Representatives, the Lower House of Federal Parliament, in the two-phase election.
The results are expected to be out in the second week of December.
The Sultanate and Nepal signed a Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) in September during the visit of Sher Bahadur Deuba, Nepal’s Prime Minister.
The two countries are marking the 40th year of establishing bilateral relations.
“The pact for visa waiver for officials and diplomats of both countries as well as other areas and for promoting tourism, customs and manpower have been viewed with great importance,” she said.
“We are keen on working closely with Oman. Efforts to waive the visa requirements for diplomats and other officials are currently under way.”
She said the country is looking at increased cooperation in the fields of economic, technological and scientific relations with Oman and that more agreements would be signed in the coming months.

KABEER YOUSUF