Kathmandu, May 27 (EFE).- Nepali rapper Balendra Shah was Friday declared the mayor of the capital city Kathmandu after he defeated candidates of traditional political outfits as an independent contestant in local level elections.
It is the first victory by an independent candidate in the Kathmandu Metropolitan City, and the 32-year-old rapper, known as Balen, will occupy the post for five years.
The announcement of the election results by the National Assembly Hall came two weeks after the polls were conducted on May 13 in six metropolitan cities, 11 sub-metropolitan cities, 276 municipalities, and 460 rural municipalities.
The polls were the second local-level elections held since the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015.
According to the Election Commission, Shah, a structural engineer by profession, received 61,767 votes.
His nearest rival, Srijana Singh, the ruling alliance candidate from the Nepali Congress, secured 38,341 votes, while Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) (CPN-UML) candidate Keshav Sthapit got 38,117.
As soon as Shah was declared the winner, his supporters broke into boisterous celebrations in Kathmandu.
Hundreds of people welcomed him on the streets across Kathmandu.
“I will give my full time to the development of Kathmandu city. I will make Kathmandu one of the most beautiful cities in the world,” said Shah.
“The citizens of Kathmandu have trusted me. I won’t let them down.”
Balen was up against Keshav Sthapit, a two-time mayor of Kathmandu.
Congress leader Sirjana Singh comes from a family with a deep political background.
She is the wife of former Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh.
Chairman of the CPN (Maoist-Centre) Pushpa Kamal Dahal or Prachanda extended his best wishes to Shah.
“The victory of Balen has given a message to all the political parties. The message is what the people want. I want to congratulate him for winning the local level election.”
Political analysts see Shah’s victory as people’s eroding trust in established political party leaders who have failed to deliver.
Political analyst Chandra Dev Bhatta told EFE that independent candidates wining in Kathmandu and other cities indicated that “people are looking for alternative forces.” EFE