Pics by Wagle
Japanese members of Parliament Gaku Hashimoto (left), son of late former Japanese prime minister and a friend of Nepal Ryutaro Hashimoto, and Tadahiko Ito (middle) and Japanese ambassador to Nepal Tatsuo Mizuno (right) display their thumbs with “I-voted” marks on the nails at a press conference in Kathmandu yesterday. Both members of the Japanese parliament had come to Nepal on April 9 to observe the elections. They retunred on April 11. They said that they were so much impressed with the enthusiastic participation of Nepali people in the election that they decided to get the ink mark on their fingers even though they didn’t vote!
European Union’s Election Observation Mission held a press conference today in Kathmandu to publicize their preliminary impression of the elections. The statement said:
“The Constituent Assembly election represents a crucial step towards an inclusive democracy in Nepal and has so far met several international standards. On election day polling went smoothly overall, despite a limited number of cases of violence and attempts to disrupt the poll leading to the cancellation of voting in some polling stations. By contrast, the campaign period was tense across the country and marred by incidents of intimidation and violence.”
“I commend the people of Nepal for the largely peaceful way in which voting took place despite the difficult circumstances. Voters turned out in large numbers and showed a genuine commitment to an inclusive election,” said Jan Mulder, Chief Observer of the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM). “It is now our sincere hope that, as the counting process gets underway across the country, all political parties and their leaders will respect the will of the people and the rule of law by waiting patiently for the election results.”
UN, US, China congratulate Nepali people
April 12 – Nepal has been receiving messages of congratulations from the international community, including the UN, for holding the Constituent Assembly (CA) election successfully on Thursday.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the Nepali people for what he said was their enthusiastic participation in the poll.
“The Secretary-General congratulates the people of Nepal on Thursday’s Constituent Assembly election which took place in a generally orderly and peaceful atmosphere,” said a statement issued by a spokesperson for the Secretary-General in New York Thursday night.
Besides, Ban has also appealed to all the political parties to remain calm while awaiting the results.
Similarly, the United States, in a statement “heartily” congratulated the Nepali people for holding the election, saying Nepal has taken a huge step forward on the path of peace and democracy.
“Overwhelmingly across the country men and women were able to cast their ballots in a peaceful and orderly way. This represents an historic achievement and is a tribute to the courage of the Nepali people and the conduct of the Election Commission,” said a statement issued by the US embassy in Kathmandu.
Besides, the US has urged patience and respect for the results of the election as it will take weeks.
“We stand ready to assist the people of Nepal in their pursuit of a more peaceful, democratic and prosperous future,” the statement said.
Likewise, China has expressed its happiness over the holding of the election smoothly.
“The Chinese side is delighted to see that the Constituent Assembly Elections in Nepal were held smoothly,” read a statement issued by Chinese embassy in Kathmandu, Friday. “We respect the choice made by the Nepalese people on the social system and development path according to Nepal’s national conditions.”
Besides, China has hoped that Nepal will achieve political stability and economic development and has assured continuity of its assistance to Nepal.
Japanese mission lauds poll procedure
April 12 – The Japanese parliamentary team observing the constituent assembly election has said the election has been accomplished in fair, free and peaceful manner and praised the election procedures.
The team said on Friday the Nepali people’s encouraging participation in the election shows that they were waiting for the stability of peace and democracy. Japanese parliamentarians Tadahiko Ito and Gaku Hashimoto are in in the team.
Ban Ki-moon, Arbour congratulates Nepal
April 11 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Friday congratulated the people of Nepal for conducting the Constituent Assembly election in a generally orderly and peaceful atmosphere.
In a statement issued Friday, Ban commended the Nepali people for their enthusiastic participation in the historic event.
The Secretary General also appealed to all concerning parties to remain calm while awaiting the results.
Meanwhile, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour also congratulated the people of Nepal on Thursday’s elections for a Constituent Assembly.
In a press release issued today, she described the polls as a crucial advance in the country’s historic transition, and one that should have a very positive long-term impact on the human rights of its citizens.
“Elections for a Constituent Assembly that will be responsible for drafting a new constitution are a major stride towards a new future in Nepal in which the rights of all people – including historically marginalized communities – are respected,” Arbour said in the statement. The High Commissioner particularly welcomed the reportedly large and enthusiastic participation of women in the election.
“I congratulate the authorities for their success so far in holding a largely peaceful election process despite the difficult circumstances. And I trust that all the political parties in Nepal will accept the decision of the electors, whatever it may be,” she said.
In the statement, Arbour, however, said she was deeply saddened by a number of deaths that occurred during the run up to the election and on Election Day itself.
India, UN hail CA polls
April 10 – India and the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) have welcomed the successful holding of the much-awaited Constituent Assembly (CA) elections.
Issuing a statement after the conclusion of the crucial polls, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MoEA) said CA election was a “welcome and historic step” towards realizing the aspirations of the Nepalese people.
In the statement, the Indian MoEA spokesperson called the election “a happy outcome and a product of the determination of the people of Nepal, with significant contributions by the political parties and the Election Commission of Nepal”, adding that the Constituent Assembly to be elected would provide a platform for the Nepalese people to decide the kind of governance they want and their future.
The statement also said that India would always stand by the people of Nepal and their decisions.
“As always, India will stand by the people of Nepal in the major tasks of democratisation and development that lie ahead while building a stable, prosperous and peaceful Nepal.”
Similarly, UNMIN also hailed today’s election terming it an expression of the Nepalese people’s commitment to democracy.
“I congratulate the people of Nepal, who have demonstrated their commitment to democracy by turning out in large numbers to vote in today’s historic Constituent Assembly election,” UNMIN Chief Ian Martin said in a statement today.
Noting that the election was conducted by and large in a peaceful and orderly manner, Martin also said that today’s election has been Nepal’s most observed election, and in the coming days and weeks both international and national observer groups will be making public their findings regarding the electoral process, including preparations, polling and the post-polling process.
Martin also urged all political parties and leaders to accept the people’s verdict expressed through the historic election.
Carter Center calls election remarkable and well executed
April 12 – The Carter Center Saturday said that Thursday’s constituent assembly election was remarkable and relatively peaceful and that polling stations were well-organized and electoral workers carried out their responsibilities competently and professionally.
In a preliminary statement released today, the Center said that preliminary reports indicate that the administration of this election was well executed, bearing testimony to the hard work of election officials and the determination of Nepal’s people to ensure that their country continues on the path to sustainable peace and democracy.
The statement also added that it was now essential for Nepal to remain calm, to await final results, and where there are disputes, to follow appropriate legal procedures.
“The Carter Center will continue to observe the district counting and national tabulation until complete and, when appropriate, comment further on the electoral process,” added the statement.
The Center also observed that violent incidents, threats, and electoral malpractice marred an otherwise peaceful campaign, but these negative practices did not deter high voter turnout or public confidence in the election.
The Center also commended the people of Nepal saying, “The Carter Center commends the enthusiasm and determination of Nepal’s people to help consolidate peace and democracy by participating in the election of a body that will write a new constitution.”
The Center also noted the statesmanship and dedication of the political leaders to the election process and added that it was “Now up to Nepal’s political leadership to rapidly and transparently convene the constituent assembly, to agree on a new cabinet, and to refocus national attention on the urgent need for economic development and the strengthening of transparent, inclusive, and democratic institutions.”
The Center also recognized with admiration the Election Commission’s crucial role in Nepal’s electoral process and added that the international community should accept the expressed will of the Nepali people and engage accordingly with all relevant Nepali actors.
On Thursday, the Carter Center observers visited more than 400 polling centers in 28 districts. The Center said that it will continue to follow the ongoing ballot counting process and announcement of official results.