CEC hardens position on int’l poll observers

  • Says there’s no need for missions, monitors to certify elections of Nepal
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 23, 2017-Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Ayodhee Prasad Yadav has hardened position on international observers following some “questionable activities” on the part of some representatives in Kanchanpur district. 

Rajendra Kumar Acharya, chief election officer of Kanchanpur district, wrote to the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday, calling for barring representatives of the European Union (EU) from observing elections in the district for their “activities” that he said were against the election code of conduct. 

CEC Yadav on Wednesday said that “there is no need for the international observers to certify Nepal’s elections as long as Nepali people accept the electoral process and the results”. 

“India does not allow international observers. They only invite them on study missions. We [Election Commission of Nepal] are also invited as a friendly polling body,” said CEC Yadav during a question-answer session organised by the Kantipur Media Group at its office on Wednesday.

There has been a trend in Nepal of inviting international missions to observe elections. The country, however, has faltered when it comes to holding periodic elections. 

After three parliamentary elections after the restoration of democracy in 1990, the country held two Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 and 2013 during which 

international observers were invited.

In the wake of “questionable activities” of the EU representatives and the EC’s hardened position on international observers, questions now have arisen whether Nepal should continue to allow international missions to monitor elections.

“Ideally, any country holding elections would like to phase out international monitoring at some point of time. The idea behind international monitoring in Nepal is rooted in the fact that we have not reached that phase,” Election Commissioner Ila Sharma said. “Hopefully we will reach that stage sooner rather than later.”

The poll body has allowed four international observers—the Carter Centre, the EU, Asian Network for Free Elections and Ankawa International—for the upcoming federal parliament and provincial assembly elections. 

The first phase of elections will be held in 32 districts, including Kanchanpur, on Sunday. 

The second phase of elections will be held on December 7. 

On low number of international missions for the upcoming elections, CEC Yadav 

said “because only a few of them requested for poll monitoring”. 

“But it is good to have a low number of international observers,” Yadav said. 

“What is important is the elections and their results should be acceptable to the people of Nepal.”

Published: 23-11-2017 07:16

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