Kathmandu: Ahead of the Nepal elections, as many as 62 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) have announced that they will contest for their rights and privileges in the upcoming polls.

Under the aegis of Blue Diamond Society, a pioneer and leading organisation for LGBT's rights in Nepal, 28 lesbians, 21 gays, 12 transgenders and intersexes announced their candidacy in their respective constituencies in 31 districts.

One of these third-genders was Bhumika Shrestha, who said it was to secure an identity in the Nepalese society that she decided to contest elections from Kathmandu.

Explaining the reasons for announcing the candidacy so early, the Blue Diamond Society's chairman Sunil Babu Panta said that one reason is to put pressure on political parties to create poll environment and second, we need elections to establish and preserve our rights. Panta, the first openly gay politician of Nepal, was the member of the dissolved assembly.

The Blue Diamond Society has been holding several activities in the country, targeting local and global LGBTIs community. According to the government data, there are half a million LBGTIs in Nepal but Panta claimed it could be up to 2.5 million.

Nepal is scheduled to hold Constituent Assembly elections Nov 19 since the first assembly elections in 2008 failed to reach a political consensus on drafting a constitution for the country and dissolved last year.


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