EEMT Second Report on Electoral Monitoring
The UN Secretary-General submits Electoral Expert Monitoring Team second report to Government.
The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon submitted the second report of the United Nations Electoral Expert Monitoring Team (EEMT) to the Government of Nepal and the Chief Election Commissioner on
23 August 2007.
The five-member team, appointed by the Secretary-General and led by Dr. Rafael Lopez-Pintor, is responsible for assessing the electoral process on a regular basis in order to determine whether it is proceeding in a manner which will lead to a result that accurately reflects the will of the people of Nepal. In its second visit, from July 27 to August 6, 2007, the EEMT established benchmarks for the assessment of preparations for the Constituent Assembly election.
The EEMT completed its second visit to Nepal on 6 August , during which it met with Government Ministers as well as district administration officials, Members of Parliament, Commissioners and staff of the independent Election Commission, political party representatives, members of civil society including women’s organisations, leaders of traditionally marginalised groups, journalists, officers of the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force, international observer groups, diplomats and UN officials.
The report details the findings of this second visit, with a mention that the security situation has not improved since the first visit in June. The EEMT states that establishing an adequate security environment for the Constituent Assembly election will depend not so much on the number of police or arms deployed, but on cooperation between political parties and clear instructions to their activists in the districts. Only this kind of cooperation will result in the creation of peaceful conditions for the poll and positively contribute to the acceptance of results.
The EEMT, in its report, strongly encourages the political parties in government to issue a joint public statement expressing their unified and firm commitment to the conduct of the Constituent Assembly election on 22 November as well as to improving the security conditions for the conduct of the elections.
The EEMT reports that conditions for freedom of the press still prevail in the country. However, it states that the ability of journalists to report and publishers to distribute their publications faces serious limitations, citing threats against journalists, especially in the Terai, and the blocking by Maoist union workers of the distribution and circulation of daily publications for over three days.
The EEMT states its support for the efforts of the Election Commission to finalize the development of a comprehensive and detailed set of procedures for all main steps for the preparation and conduct of the election. A set of consolidated and clear procedures that provide for all aspects of the electoral process will help ensure clarity and consistency and enable the Election Commission to implement important training and voter education programmes, and will clarify the rules of the game for all stakeholders. It will also contribute to a peaceful election, as procedures developed following a consultative process assist with stakeholders’ buy-in and acceptance of dispute resolution mechanisms.
The EEMT recommends that the Election Commission consolidate the election timeline into one unified and comprehensive operational plan to cover all phases and activities of the election, in order to promote transparency.
The need for increased public information and awareness-raising is also underlined by the EEMT, especially with the introduction of a mixed electoral system for the first time in Nepal. It called for an increased effort from the Election Commission to disseminate widely the main legal instruments for the Constituent Assembly election. These public information efforts should be accompanied also by training workshops for journalists.
The EEMT is scheduled to visit the country for the third time before the end of September
The executive summaries and the recommendations from the reports of the EEMT’s first and second visits to Nepal are posted on the UNMIN website at: http://www.un.org.np/unmin.php
Posted by Editor on August 30, 2007 7:34 AM