Polls in Nepal fair, say Carter Centre, EU observer

    By IANS,

    Kathmandu : Two prominent international organisations — Carter Centre and European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) — keeping an eye on Nepal’s Constituent Assembly polls said Thursday that the elections were held in a fair manner.

    Support TwoCircles

    Organising separate press conferences here, both Carter Centre and EUEOM said that the elections were conducted in a peaceful manner with high public participation.

    The announcement came a day after UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon congratulated Nepal for the peaceful and successful conduct of the polls.

    Both election observers rejected the claim made by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M), which has alleged rigging and threatened to boycott the Constituent Assembly.

    The EUEOM chief observer, Eva Joly, said that “counting was really done thoroughly” and that the “elections were held in a managed way in a peaceful environment”.

    If a political party is not satisfied with the process and claims that it was not transparent and genuine they should come up with the evidence and adopt legal ways, Joly said.

    Former US president Jimmy Carter, who arrived Saturday to monitor the crucial elections, said: “The election day was largely peaceful with the Carter Centre observers assessing the environment at polling locations and in the immediate vicinity in 99 percent of visits.”

    “I am very disappointed to hear of the UCPN-M rejection of the counting process and withdrawal of their party agents,” said Carter. “I trust that they will respect the will of Nepali voters as expressed on the election day. They must refrain from violent protest, and I urge them to allow the electoral process to continue.”

    Soon after UCPN-M chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda was declared defeated by a Nepali Congress candidate in the Kathmandu-10 constituency Thursday, the party alleged that several cases of irregularities and rigging were found in the Nov 19 polls and they had taken the cases to the government and Election Commission.

    Carter Centre has been working in Nepal since the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, establishing a full fledged office in Kathmandu and has been monitoring Nepal’s peace process and civil liberties.

    The second Constituent Assembly (CA) election in Nepal concluded Tuesday with the aim of drafting a new constitution after the CA elected in 2008 failed to do so.