Int’l community urges accommodation of all

  • Not having elections will be tragic: US ambassador
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 28, 2017-

The Kathmandu-based international community has urged the political parties to forge an agreement to broaden support for the upcoming local level elections for a wider participation of the population.

In a statement on Thursday, the community said it recognised the efforts of all stakeholders, including the Election Commission, the government, civil society and the political parties in preparing for the historic local polls in Nepal.

With less than a month left before the scheduled election date, “we encourage efforts to continue to forge a political agreement to enable the participation of as wide a section of the population as possible and broaden support to the process,” said the statement from the diplomatic community and donor agency. 

In a separate meeting later in the day with a select group of newspaper editors, US Ambassador to Nepal Alaina B Teplitz stressed that political stability held key to Nepal’s development. “There’s a need for collaboration among parties to find a political accommodation. It’s really important that political forces think about future of Nepal, think of the times when they will have opportunities to fight over complex issues.

“But now is the time to come together. This is a tranformative moment. Not having elections will be tragic in terms of what Nepali people expect. At the end of the day the only side we are taking is that of the Nepali people,” said the US ambassador.

The statement, undersigned by Australia, Denmark, Germany, Delegation of the European Union, Finland, France, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, the United Nations in Nepal and the World Bank, said: “This will bolster the credibility of the elections and facilitate the implementation of the constitution.”

It has been two decades since local elections were last held, and Nepalis are keen to exercise their right to elect their local representatives, they said in the statement, local elections are crucial in revitalising democracy at the grassroots level and strengthening government accountability.

They have also urged all parties to mutually respect the freedom of peaceful expression and assembly, and individual voters’ rights as laid out in Nepal’s laws and constitution.

“We also call on the security forces to comply with existing national and international standards when carrying out their duties,” the international community said, reiterating their commitment to working with all stakeholders for a peaceful, inclusive, broadly-supported and credible election process.

Published: 28-04-2017 07:54

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