Mayor of Kathmandu: 12 qualities you need to look for before voting

voting centre democracy in nepal
Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Voting for a mayor is more important than people think; it is more important when it comes to voting for the mayor of Kathmandu as it is the country’s capital.

Political experts say voting for a mayor is even more important than voting for a president because a good mayor can do a lot to change the face of a city. Take what Sunil Prajapati has done in Bhaktapur and Dilip Khand has done in Waling. Through good leadership and determination, these people have changed the way people see the city contrary to what Bidya Sundar Shakya, the outgoing mayor of Kathmandu, has done.

So what constitutes a good mayor of Kathmandu? What qualities does a person need to have to become a good mayor? Today, we discuss a few qualities that you should consider before you vote for your mayor.

1. Vision

The most important thing before voting for a mayor of Kathmandu is to know his or her vision. What have they planned for the city? Is the plan practical? The promise of a monorail in Kathmandu is great, but you all have seen how impractical that vision was.

2. Visibility

It is important for the citizens to know who the mayor is. Why? Having a personal connection with the people is proof that the mayor cares about the people. If he/she does not put in the effort, it is highly likely that he/she will not listen to anyone once in power.

3. Personality

This is another trait that needs to be taken into consideration while voting for the mayor of Kathmandu. A mayor is someone who represents the city and he/she needs to have a strong personality whereby he/she can lead by example without being intimidated by anyone.

File: Keshav Sthapit
File: Keshav Sthapit Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale

4. Morality

Voters should also consider if the candidate is moral. This year, Keshav Sthapit is contesting for the mayor of Kathmandu. But, you also know Sthapit has been accused by multiple women of sexually harassing them. He may work for the betterment of the city, but a voter should not vote for anyone who does not respect women or other human beings.

5. Relationship building

As mayors directly with bureaucrats and other people, the mayor of Kathmandu needs to understand the value of building relationships with each other. If he/she listens to people, that is a good start because listening can go a long way to building a better community. 

6. Accountability

This has been a major issue with many mayors in Nepal. They take credit for a lot of things that go right. But, when it comes to things that did not go right, they were quick to put the blame on someone else. So, accountability is a major criterion that needs to be taken into consideration before voting for your mayor of Kathmandu this time. 

7. Problem-solving

Modern problems need modern solutions. So, the mayor of Kathmandu must also be a critical thinker who can come up with ways to tackle issues as they come but do so in a manner which is best for the city. 

8. Approachability

This is key because if they do not listen, that person is not a good candidate. Being a leader means that the person needs to listen. They should be able to understand the concerns, ideas, and perspectives of different people and address them. Communication is key and if they are not willing to communicate, don’t vote for them for the mayor of Kathmandu.

9. Inclusiveness

Inclusion is crucial because you cannot do everything on your own. So, if a candidate is willing to work with people from all walks of life and economic backgrounds, pick them to lead you.

10. Transparency

In a country that is plagued by corruption, it is important that the mayoral candidate is transparent when it comes to money. If you cannot be transparent, there is no way you are fit to be the mayor of Kathmandu. Most candidates get to become a mayor thanks to their affiliation with a party and there are rumours that when they become mayors, they amass loads of money for the party for the coming election. If true, this needs to stop. 

Balen Shah. Photo: Chandra Bahadur Ale

11. Willingness to change the process

Administrative work in Nepal is tiresome. And, that is something that these candidates should focus on. Promises of infrastructure development are great, but these do not help the people as much as they think. Simplifying the internal administrative process would go a long way and create actual change in the community.

12. Legacy to leave

Leaving behind a legacy should not be the first thing on their agenda, but it should be on the back of their mind because if they do, they will work with determination. Leaving a positive legacy will do wonders in the long run as the person who succeeds them will have to work with the same vigour as their predecessor, which is great for the city.

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