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No, 70% of Nepalis did not vote in the rigged elections
In a related thread, Shubanga repeated a lie that is being spread by media outlets and reactionary states from Nepal, to India, to Britain, to even the United States. His narrative is as follows:
The last few days have been revolutionary for Nepal, though not in the manner the radical Maoists would prefer. Despite their efforts to derail the election process through bandhs (strikes) and sporadic bomb blasts (which disproportionately injured the children), Nepali people came out to vote in historic numbers. The turnout is greater than even the first CA election and I think this reflects as much support for a demorcatic process as it does the rejection of Baidhya Maoists' brand of narcissistic politics.
Did Nepalis really turn out for the polls "in record numbers?" Even greater than the first Constituent Assembly? The simple answer is: No. That is a lie. But this is certainly not a lie Shubhanga himself created. It is being spread all over the world. Even the BBC claims that "70%" of Nepalis voted, a higher percentage than voted in the post-2006 uprising elections.
So let's break it down:
Nepal is a society of 27 million people. Of that 27 million people, 12 million people registered to vote in the 2013 elections (compared to 17.6 million in 2008). "70%" of 12.21 million people is 8.54 million voters, therefore, 31% of Nepalis participated in these elections. Age can't possibly account for that low level of voter registration.
Compare these number to the CA elections of 2008: in those elections 17.6 million people registered to vote, and there was a turnout of 63.29%. Millions of people dropped out of these elections. The never registered to vote in the first place.
The real question is, why are so many powerful states and media institutions repeating this lie, over and over again? Is it, perhaps, because these rigged elections were a dramatic failure for their legitimacy? And they are forced to spread this lie to save face?