Aanik Rana has become the first trans person to run for public office in her town in Nepal.
Rana is hoping to be elected chairperson of ward number eight of the Tilotama Municipality, a town in western Nepal.
According to her social media profiles, Rana is a social worker and human rights activist.
She is running for the Naya Shakti Nepal party at the June 28 elections. Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai created the leftist Naya Shakti Nepal party. It advocates for popularly elected political leaders, rather than the current system the where the Prime Minister is decided by a majority vote in parliament.
Whether she wins or loses on June 28, Rana said her nomination was already a victory because it increases the visibility of trans people.
‘In the elections victory or defeat is a normal process but I think my candidacy itself is a victory for me,’ she told Pahichan.
‘Not only indigenous, Janajati and Dalit, homosexual and transgender have given their candidacy it would contribute to bring changes towards gender and sexual minority.’
Trans man rejected
Rana’s successful nominations comes just a few weeks after a trans man was barred from running from office.
Pun registered as a ‘third gender’ – the classification of trans people in Nepal, but was told only a woman could run for that particular office.
Electoral officer Kedar Acharyawas rejected his application saying he could not accept Pun’s nomination because his party – the CPN-UML – had nominated Pun for the post of chairperson. Acharya said the vice chairperson nominee must be female.
‘How could I accept the nomination of a third gender when this is not allowed by the legal provisions? He should have taken this up with his own party,’ Acharya said at the time.
Pun vowed to fight the decision and will take the matter to the Pokhara High Court.