CHITWAN, May 31: Faced with imminent defeat, representatives of the ruling CPN (Maoist Center) on Sunday midnight tore off ballot papers while the vote count of Bharatpur ward-19 was ongoing.

CPN-UML candidate Bidya Sundar Shakya was elected mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) on Sunday, defeating his nearest rival Raju Raj Joshi of Nepali Congress. With Shakya all set to assume the top post in the country"s largest city, Republica"s Gyan P. Neupane talked with him about his vision and his plans to make the capital “a beautiful, safe, prosperous and lively city” as promised in the election manifesto. Excerpts:

The frustratingly slow vote counting process has dented the great public enthusiasm for local election. Many of them are asking if there is a way to make this process faster during the second phase. Perhaps using electronic voting machines is an option? Neel Kantha Uprety, the Chief Election Commissioner during the second Constituent Assembly elections in 2013, offered his views on these and other election- related issues in an interview with Republica’s Mahabir Paudyal and Bhadra Sharma.

Republic of Lithuania, a northern European country, officially inaugurated its Honorary Consulate in Nepal on Tuesday. Shovakar Hari Neupane, a Kathmandu-based businessman, has been appointed as Lithuania's Honorary Consular in Nepal. Lithuanian ambassador to Nepal, Laimonas Talat-Kelpsa, who is based in New Delhi, is in Kathmandu for the inauguration of the consular office. Ashim Neupane of Republica talked to Talat-Kelpsa on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony to know about bilateral trade between Nepal and Lithuania, among other issues. Excerpts:

Hari Sharma has closely observed Nepali politics from both in and out of government and is widely known for his erudite, independent analysis. So what does he make of the upcoming local election? Will the election help solve the larger political and constitutional issues? How will the new political actors fare? And what can Nepalis look forward to? The veteran political analyst sat down for a chat with Republica’s Biswas Baral and Mahabir Paudyal at his home in Kapan, Kathmandu on Wednesday morning.

Renault Nepal has launched a new variant of Renault KWID hatchback in the Nepali market. The car with powerful 1.0 liter Smart Control Efficiency (SCe) engine was launched amid a function in Kathmandu on Wednesday. Republica talked to Nikunj Agrawal, the managing director of Advanced Automobiles Pvt Ltd - the authorized distributor of Renault in Nepal, to know more about Renault and its performance in Nepal. Excerpts:

OPPO launched its latest offering -- Selfie Expert F3 -- amid a function in Kathmandu on Friday. According to the company, the F3 is targeted at ‘Group Selfie’ generation. The smartphone has features like 5.5-inch screen, 13 MP rear camera, 16 MP front camera, 4GB RAM, 64 GB ROM and 3,200 mAh battery, among others.

The impeachment motion against Chief Justice Sushila Karki on Sunday shocked the country. This was because Chief Justice Karki was seen as someone of high moral standing and someone not afraid to make controversial decisions, for instance in the case of former CIAA chief Lokman Singh Karki. So why did the ruling parties initiate the impeachment motion against her? Does the decision have any substance? And what are its legal implications? Balaram KC, former judge at the Supreme Court of Nepal and a respected voice in the legal community, shared his insights with Mahabir Paudyal.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shankar Nayak is an MP belonging to CPN (Maoist Center) from Siraha district. Nayak, who is a close aide of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, was actively involved in drafting the two constitution amendment bills (the one that has been withdrawn and the one registered in parliament last week). Republica’s Mahabir Paudyal and Ashok Dahal asked Nayak why the Madheshi parties were opposing the newly-tabled amendment bill, when it was aimed at taking them into confidence. And how will the government hold local election on May 14 in the face of Madheshi Morcha’s decision to disrupt election?

Coca-Cola, a multinational company which produces food and beverage, is not just focused on doing business. It has also been involved in different projects as per its commitment and sustainability agenda. The company is involved in projects such as water recharge, women empowerment, improving education, and water and sanitation hygiene (WASH) issues, among others, as per its sustainability agenda. Republica talked Ishteyaque Amjad, vice-president public affairs and communications and Subha Shekhar, director sustainability of Coca-Cola India Pvt Ltd (CCIPL) and India and South West Asia (INSWA) Business Unit to know more about the company's sustainable agenda. Excerpts: