Carter Center Urges an End to Election Related Violence

The Carter Center, that is here to observe the Constituent Assembly election, says it “strongly condemns” the YCL violence in the hill and mountain districts. The following is a press statement release yesterday:

[A Candidate Killed: An unidentified group shot dead Kamal Prasad Adhikari, a candidate of the National People’s Front Nepal (NPFN) for the CA polls from Banke district constituency-2, on yesterday night. A masked group of around six persons came to Adhikari’s house last night at around 11 at Bethaani in the district and fired four rounds of bullets at him. Jawala Singh -led Janatantrik Terai Mukti Morcha (JTMM-J) has owned up the responsibility of the killing. (more here)

The Carter Center’s international election observation mission in Nepal has observed the pre-electoral environment in the country for the past 14 months. The Center is encouraged by the level of electoral preparations and campaigning presently taking place, as this represents a marked increase from the two previous election periods in June and November 2007.

Meanwhile the European Union has established a mission to observe the Constituent Assembly election and the EU Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) organized a press conference yesterday to let the public know about their presence in Nepal. The head of the mission Jan Mulder, a member of the European Parliament, addressed reporters. The mission will comprise of 120 observers from 22 different EU countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland, a press statement issued at the news conference stated.

A guy who were seated next to Mulder threw a satire to the reporters who came late in the press conference. I agree with him that they should have come in time. I also must tell him to learn a bit about organizing press conference. Just because you are from Europe to “observe” the elections and to “promote” democracy doesn’t mean you can organize good press conferences. I saw Kieran Dwyer of UNMIN in the conference. He might be able to share some of the tricks and skills of having an organized press conference to Anna Owen, the so called press officer of the Mission. Kieran should also tell Anna that she should be responding to emails from reporters because the job of a “press officer” is not just to sit on the dais and point out the reporter to ask the questions. Though I hate the unnecessary bureaucracy that is seen in UNMIN press conference (your bag has to go through metal dictator and you must exchange your ID card with the one they provide for the purpose of press conference), they are good when it comes to the handling inside the hall. I also like them for sending the English transcript of the Q and A though I think the Nepali transcript, which comes late, is useless even for a reporter like me who works for a Nepali language newspaper. Also, a waste of manpower!

The moral of the post is: Those who come to “promote” democracy in a country like Nepal where we have seen historical participation of people in the pro-democracy movements (twice in 16 years) should come to Nepal with some degree of preparation about how you are going to “promote” democracy here. By the way, the Nepali version of the EU EOM press release uses the word “prajatanrta” for “democracy”. The translator seems to have no idea about what happened in April 2006 and there after. Because of the changed context and situation, Nepali people have started using “loktantra” for the word “democracy”. Here is the press release. –DW

Additionally, following the signing of the United Madhesi Democratic Front (UMDF) agreement, the security situation has improved significantly in the Terai, though many districts remain fragile. All across the country, the Center’s long term observers report that the people of Nepal want to participate in the constituent assembly election and expect that a successful election will bring sustainable peace, democracy, and prosperity to Nepal.

However, political parties and the government need to continue and increase activities that reassure voters of their commitment to the April 10 election. Following the two previous postponements, the Nepali public has grown skeptical about the government’s genuine commitment to the April date. Additionally, the Center is deeply concerned by reports of continued Maoist and Young Communist League (YCL) violence in the hill and mountain districts, as well as announced plans to disrupt the election by armed groups in the Terai. The Center strongly condemns these activities and notes their potential to significantly hamper the electoral environment, decrease voter turnout, and call into question the election’s credibility.

With only 22 days remaining before the constituent assembly election, the Carter Center’s international election observation mission in Nepal puts forward the following recommendations in order to ensure a credible and successful electoral process. Specifically, The Carter Center:

• Calls on all parties to sustain their commitment to the April 10 constituent assembly election and increase peaceful campaigning efforts particularly at the village level;

• Urges an immediate cessation of Maoist and YCL violence, threats, and harassment, which have increased in recent weeks and which threaten the credibility of their party, the election, and the peace process;

• Notes concern over reported plans by the Maoists and other parties to mobilize up to 200 supporters per polling station on election day, given the potential for intimidation of voters and conflict between parties;

• Requests the government to fully implement the agreement signed with the UMDF as well as other agreements, including swift action on the provision to create a conducive environment for talks with the armed Madhesi groups in order to ward off their potential to act as spoilers to the process;

• Encourages moderate Madhesi leaders to use their authority to publicly and privately insist that the armed groups cease violence intended to disturb the election;

• Calls on the government to strengthen its support for the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force in order to facilitate their ability to provide a secure electoral environment, and to implement appropriate security measures in consultation with local community leaders, while sustaining their commitment to the protection of human rights;

• Advises the political parties, the government, and the Election Commission to act strongly on their shared obligation to respect and vigorously enforce the electoral code of conduct;

• Suggests a public and transparent agreement regarding the rules of conduct for the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and Nepal Army (NA) during the electoral period in order to address fears that either group will attempt to leave their areas and influence the process;

• Advocates for continued intensive voter education in order to familiarize voters with the purpose of the constituent assembly election and the new electoral system;

• Suggests that the Election Commission and the government clearly and in a coordinated manner explain to the public the post-election transition plan, including the length of time needed to process the election results, the process for forming a government following the election, and the procedure for initiating the work of the constituent assembly;

• Encourages domestic observer networks to rigorously train their observers in order to ensure the presence of an impartial and effective domestic observation effort;

• Calls on the international community to use its collective voice to consistently condemn election-related violence and violations of the electoral code of conduct.

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20 thoughts on “Carter Center Urges an End to Election Related Violence”

  1. If the nepalese side is continuously unclear about the reality of dangers of the situation such as candidates and (sic)voters getting killed, how can international people be of service?
    This is a matter of practicality. We cannot always pray and pray, good common sense works in the entire rest of the world or not as in Irak where they have only 3 hours of electricity if it is true.
    Vote guys and vote the right thing. Who really wants to become third generation exiled ?
    Violence can and must be foreseen and prevented.

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  2. Atleast someone is saying something.
    Read this excerpt from this weekend newsfront magazine of Yubaraj Ghimire:

    ” It is time to throw down the gauntlet and challenge the government and our international monitors to take proper measures to stop this intimidation of candidates..”
    ” bite the bullet and do what you (UNMIN) are paid to do, and if you cannot do it then admit you failed and go home”.

    “One can hear the protest … “but it’s not our job, we’re not here to dictate terms etc…”. But wait a minute, were’nt they dictating terms two years ago, witholding funds, vociferously condemning the brutality of organs of the state? In retrospect, their prissiness over funding projects in the “royal regime” looks rather lame in comparison to the money poured into the pockets of people who still perpatrate violence.”

    “Given this what is the difference between the Maoist leadership failing to prevent violence and intimidation by their cadres of election candidates from other parties and those organs of the state so vociferously condemned by foreign donors two years ago?”

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  3. I am not anti maoist at all.
    Funds should at all times be stopped if badly used.
    More than a simple conflict of interest it is a complete scenario of undistinguishable changing actors with oncoming new fruitful violence.
    Why should anyone invest in Nepal or help Nepal? There is growing foreigner hatred very perceptible and I can also understand that the entire nepalese press is indoctrinated by I do not want to say which german foundation because people so wish to do in another country what they cannot in Germany . I have been blessed not to read nepalese but unfortunately I saw the country destroyed as well.
    Judge and be judged. Shit happens.
    And can and must be prevented and foreseen in a non violent matter. The chinese mow down of the protests were clear if they kill all of their own students in Tian m square why would they spare any autonomous region? If only maoists could be a little friendly most of my latin american friends were extreme left like any democrat with a bit of brain left no one is in favour of the new fascist world order.
    Not in USA not in Europe. This is a great time to invent more and more conflicts, but people are worn out exhausted give them a BREAK from endless horror and mend differences.
    Who thinks democrats will win in USA? Get real.

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  4. I am guessing the anon comment above is from a German – can someone translate what was written into English – I could not undersatnd what was being said and am interested to see foreign views on this blog.

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  5. does this biased blog have the guts to publicize the untimely death of Janamorcha candidate Mr Adhikary- who was brutally murdered by Maoists– the elecction commision investigation also shows that the people maoists are using for their campaigning carried out this killing. It is one thing to sit in the room and call everything historic, like this blog does, but it is a completely different story to tell people the truth– and the truth is that the Maoists are still going on with their terrorist ways- killing people like journalist shah not long ago and now Mr Adhikari. Come on, show some guts here and tell people what they need to know.

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  6. This comment is TOTALLY unrelated to the above post. I just have a comment/suggestion to Dinesh Wagle and folks.

    Why is there a minimal coverage of protests by Tibetans in Nepali media (blogs included)? Well, one might say it is not directly related to the issues of “Democratic Nepal” but wait a second, does not democracy and national self-determination go together? When a Chinese security personnel infiltrates the border in civil uniform and intervenes the protest, isn’t that big enough a threat to Nepal’s democratic future?

    It really hurts to see photo features in NY Times, Washington Post, CNN etc. about the meddling of the Chinese government and its increasing political activities in Nepal. Come on they are dictating when and who can mount everest? Why are we not at least bothered to know what is going on?

    I would really love to see this blog initiate the awareness of what is going on. It is painfully ironic. It really is.

    A comment or evidences of the coverage would be much appreciated from anybody.

    Cheers,

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  7. Thank you guyfrom ktm, this blog is a Maoist propaganda and Mr. Wagle and Horning are members of the YCL. They do not have the guts nor the moral to do what is right and publicize what the truth is. They claim themselves to be highly literate in political science and South Asian Studies and want to impose their views of democracy onto the people of a country that is 95 % illiterate and will vote for the sake of security. These so-called journalists who bring out the truth have no guts and fail to see the obvious. People of Nepal are being held at gun point and told to “vote” for an “election” and if the Maoists don’t win then obviously they will “revolt” THIS IS DEMOCRACY..wow I must have missed one big lecture in political science. I am not sure i need a lecture for that, is it not common sense…..?

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  8. violence..strikes..n corruption..thats all we get in nepal..some time it feels so sick to listen to the news..i’m not in nepal rite now so at least don’t get the full fledged details..but watever the only fuckin topic would be either some1 killed some1..or this party is calling nepal bandh..wonder when will this stop..i wonder if i’ll ever see a day in nepal wen we can live peacefully without fearing for all of our lives!!!

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  9. “How can anyone sane in their minds vote maost even we love Nepal seeing how China kills”

    They are not real Maoists anyway. They are a large dacoit gang.

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  10. After the elections people will just be allowed to have only one child politics.
    All brahmins and chettris will be reeducated like in China. Nepalese language will be prohibited.
    Restore buddhism .
    freedomofspeech freedomofdemonstration . If hatred alone is the common denominator communism is mistaken view. Erroneous. Materialistic alone.
    They are going to be real maoists when they are in power.

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  11. here is another election propoganda– Ceremonial Baburam’s wife Hisila Yami- who happens to out water resources minister, has ordered the water distribution to many parts of Kathmandu to be stopped until the elections. Right now if you go to Mahankal, which is a distribution point for large parts of kathmandu, you will see two types of tankers lined up – one, commercial tankers who are buying the water that was suppsoed to have ended up in our taps. These commercial tankers then charge three times the cost to sell our water to us, thanks to Hisila Yami. Then, the second type of tankers are related to this article above– Hisila Yami is using government tankers to collect water from these collecction points to hand out free water in her constituency to manipulate election results. How funny can one get– Hisila Yami is not prepared to take responsibility for having water in our taps in the first place, but then she either sells our water or brings the water to the doors of her constituency in order to persuade people to vote for her. This is something that needs wider attention– does Dinesh wagle and his biased kantipur publication gang have the guts to expose this outrightly illegal acts of Baburam Bhattarai’s wife, Hisila Yami?

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  12. now maiost always going to clearly so we are hopping them maiost party . if nepalies all people want devlop so not need distop . maiost goe’s to about the devlop but another party had been doing destoping .

    Like

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