Foreign bodies invited to observe polls

EC sends invitations to the election bodies in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Pakistan

Oct 15, 2017-The Election Commission has invited chief election commissioners of South Asian countries to observe the upcoming federal and provincial elections.

The EC has dispatched official invitations to the heads of election bodies in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Bhutan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are member states of Saarc. The election body said there were positive indications of their participation.

An official invite has been sent also to former American president Jimmy Carter to monitor the polls, according to EC Spokesperson Nabaraj Dhakal. His organisation the Carter Center had applied to the EC for poll observation. Carter visited Nepal in 2008 and 2013 for the Constituent Assembly elections.

The EC has also invited the election commissions of Korea, Japan, Australia and Thailand to witness the elections. The poll body usually invites the election commissions of the countries with which it has signed a memorandum of understanding.

Representatives from Saarc countries observe the elections but they will not produce reports like national and international non-governmental organisations, according to election officials. Global bodies like the United Nations and diplomatic missions based in Kathmandu could also be permitted to monitor the election.

The EC has also called for applications from interested organisations and individuals to monitor the polls. The Carter Center and the European Union are two international organisations which deploy a large number of election observers. The EU has already applied for the purpose.

“We have already started studying the applications submitted by various organisations,” said Dhakal. Election officials are assessing the academic qualifications and other criteria of those who have expressed their interest to observe the polls. Organisations willing to study the polls should mobilise their teams in at least 100 polling stations covering the Tarai, hills and mountain regions.

The EC has set a code of conduct for international observers. Election officials said they have yet to ascertain the actual number of individuals and organisations 

that have applied for election monitoring.

Published: 15-10-2017 07:55

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