Case study of Nepali Greens Election 2017


Nepali Greens First participation in National Election and preparation for upcoming Election

Promoting Women in Leadership

Brief Introduction

Nepali Greens is a registered party in Nepal. It is a full member of the Global Greens and Asia Pacific Green Federation. It follows the Global Greens Charter and firmly believes in:

  • Participatory Democracy
  • Nonviolence
  • Social justice
  • Sustainability 
  • Respect for Diversity
  • Ecological Wisdom

Summary

In 2017 Nepal had a Legislative Election in two Phases on 26th November and 7th December to elect the 275 members of the fourth House of Representatives, the lower house of the Federal Parliament of Nepal where the Nepali Greens contested for the first time in the Election. 

Two young female candidates contested the parliamentary election  under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system. They were the  then 25 years old Ms. Rachana Shrestha (right voting below) contested the election from Kathmandu Election constituency no 2 and  32 years old, Ms. Smita Acharya contested from Kathmandu Election constituency no. 3 Nepali Greens Party (Nepali Greens) took part in the parliamentary election with just an objective to show up to the people “ Greens has come to fore” amongst Nepali people and promote and present the Green’s philosophy, ideology, vision, agendas, policies and programs. It was a symbolic gesture of Nepali Greens that “Greens promote youth in leadership and promote young women in leadership”.









The Street campaign was more focused then the Digital Campaign approach. The team of Election campaign consists of 6 people with the lead campaign manager directing the election campaign. The campaign highlighted the importance of environment, Climate Change, Gender Equality, Right to Housing was the prioritized campaign. The area of mass gathering of people such as World Heritage sights were selected for campaigning so that the message of the Nepali Greens will be reached to many people. The traditional Dance and Songs were also used while campaigning to attract people and share cultural heritage. 

As the time frame of the process of Selection for the candidates and the time of Election was short (due to the need to restrategise) ,  both of the candidates were provided training in Public speaking, Media coverage , and Confidence build up while conducting the Election campaign itself. The Trainings were provided by party leaders as well by the campaign manager who had good experience on campaigning. 


Election Result 

The election result wasn't  in our favor though through the participation in the  election,our objective was to present to the public as “Greens” and promote our green ideologies. We got  fewer  votes than we had expected. Despite this outcome, we are further energized to move ahead. We know that “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. We have taken a single step.”  A journey to success is not a 100 meter sprint. It’s a marathon for which you have to prepare. The preparation continues for days, weeks and years until you achieve that. We will continue our green movement’s journey by building on the lessons learnt in 2018 and taking this into our second election campaign where we will be more planned and organised.


Lesson Learnt

  • We have to focus on the grassroots and national  level at the same time.
  • We have to organize activities, events, and campaigns at a central level, especially major city areas where we will stand candidates.
  • We have to focus with a communications’ strategy on promoting the Nepali Greens through media (social media, newspaper, audio-visual media to promote who/what is greens, its ideology, vision, mission, objectives, agendas, policies, programs etc)
  • Most of the parties have run their own media (online, print, visual) so it made easier for the other parties to reach out to the voters.We have to run our own media ( at least online or print). 
  • We have to hire some private media agencies to promote Greens (such as running of campaign advertising), which other parties have done (which is not sustainable) , if we do not run media 
  • We should also promote political issues and our policy platforms to appeal the people, including  environmental and developmental agendas
  • We should advocate strongly on the social, economic, environmental agendas associated with people’s life
  • We must put ourselves on right track in terms of national political issues/agendas
  • We have to convince the people on why the country needs Greens through an integrated strategy of the above. 
  • We have to plan a highly innovative election campaign (online, physical) 
  • We have to campaign actively, assertively and continually for upcoming election from “Now”, possibly to be held after 4 years in 2022, 8 years (The campaign might include like showing up in public through some physical/people’s participation based activities, door-to-door activity, and community-wise interaction/discourse with the people, providing services to the people, speaking up as a watchdog/civil society for the welfare of people and development etc.)
  • Candidates for the Election should be selected 2 to 3 year prior to the election, so intensive training on Public Speaking, Media coverage, Confidence build up could be done and outreach within their communities. 
  • Taking part in media shows and speaking up on national political, social, environmental, economical issues
  • We must fix the candidates (50%) before 4 years and remaining 50% at least 2 years before the future elections, empower and mobilize them accordingly
  • We must raise a lot of fund to implement the plans, programs, activities and campaigns


Positive Outcomes 

Nepali Greens organized more than 20 community based assembly (Green camps over two days) and presented the Nepali Greens values and party to thousands of people

  • Online media promoted an interview of Ms. Smita Acharya
  • More than 100,000 viewers seen interviews of candidates, public announcement, visual materials related to elections
  • Nepali Greens has been credited as the first party in Nepal to promote environmental issues/agendas
  • Youth candidacy has inspired more women and young people to get involved in and support Nepali Greens 
  • More women and young people have shown interest and requested to be future candidate in upcoming election from Nepali Greens


Upcoming Election 

Election is scheduled to happen every 5 years, so the most probable year for election is 2022 A.D. This time on the election we are planning to stand from both the local and legislative level. 


Candidates and Training

Some possible candidates  have already registered their name to be in the election, The selection process of candidates is still to happen. Nepali Greens are giving main priority to women for standing for election so the party is planning to have leadership training where the Gender Equity training from APGF will also be included starting in 2021. We appreciate early selection of candidates is crucial for the campaign.

 

The Members of Nepali Greens are also being trained on Digital Campaigning, Communications’ Strategy, Media Coverage, Public Speaking, Campaign management ,and other key topics through both  online and inhouse training which will lead to the more experienced preparation in the upcoming Election. 


Gender Equity Inside the party


Nepali Greens is very keen on maintaining Gender Equity inside the party. The Nepali Green Party is working to make a 50% ratio of women inside the party. . 

Currently the party is working to achieve this by recruiting and training women inside the party and redefining the Constitution to have equal representation on Women in Party Executive. 



June 2020