In a report released today, The Carter Center offered a series of recommendations to Nepal’s election commission, candidates and parties, and government to support the conduct of a credible constituent assembly election on Nov. 19.
The recommendations are based on the findings of 12 Carter Center long-term observers from eight countries who have reported on pre-election preparations across Nepal since Sept. 25. They will be joined in mid-November by 51 additional short-term observers representing 27 countries to monitor voting and counting.
In its press release, the Center reports that the technical aspects of electoral preparations are largely on schedule, and the campaign environment generally has been open. The Center is concerned though about the tight schedule for electoral preparations, the still unresolved issues surrounding voter identification, sporadic and increasing incidents of confrontations between supporters of rival candidates, and the looting of campaign and voter education materials. In addition, there continues to be uncertainty surrounding the activities and plans of poll-opposing parties, including the bandh (strike) announced for Nov. 11-20.
As election day approaches, The Carter Center calls on political parties and their candidates to abide by the Election Commission of Nepal’s Code of Conduct, and on the election commission to ensure the timely delivery of materials and to resolve outstanding issues of voter identification. The Center also urges protesting parties to respect the right to freedom of movement and the right of all citizens to participate in public affairs.
The Carter Center is observing Nepal’s constituent assembly election at the written invitation of the Election Commission of Nepal and Chairman of the Interim Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi. The Center will provide an impartial and independent assessment of the electoral process to be made available to the Nepali public and the international community through periodic statements and reports, available at www.cartercenter.org.
The Center's observation mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct for International Election Observers that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and has been endorsed by more than 40 election observation groups. The Center assesses the electoral process based on Nepal’s national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements.