Elections Postponed Yet Again, World Community Dissapointed
For the second time in less than a year, elections in Nepal have been postponed, generating unhappy reactions from the world community.
The world is reacting on the yet another postponement of Nepal Constituent Assembly elections. The following are the samples from USA, India, the UN and other countries and organizations.
U.S. Disappointed at the Suspension of the CA Election Process
October 5, 2007
The United States is disappointed by the decision by the Interim Government of Nepal to suspend the Constituent Assembly election process. The people of Nepal have been denied a timely opportunity to elect representatives to decide the framework for the future Government of Nepal. It is important that all parties firmly commit themselves to quickly establish a new election date.
The United States wishes to express its appreciation to the Election Commission, which met the legal, technical and logistical challenges that the Constituent Assembly election posed. We urge the Government of Nepal, with the full support of all parties, immediately to address the key elements of the Comprehensive Peace Accord which remain unfulfilled and to implement its agreements with various ethnic groups.
The period between now and the Constituent Assembly election should be used to show the people of Nepal that the Interim Government is responsive to and can meet its commitments to make a better life for the people of this country.
Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Nepal
October 5, 2007
The Secretary-General is disappointed by the decision of the Interim Government of Nepal to postpone the Constituent Assembly Election which had been scheduled for 22 November. He strongly urges the Seven-Party Alliance to redouble efforts so that outstanding issues can be expeditiously resolved and the election held very soon. The people of Nepal have demonstrated their desire for peace and the stakes are too high to allow manageable differences to deny their aspirations.
The United Nations remains committed to assisting efforts to establish a durable peace in Nepal.
N News Story on Kofi Annan’s Statement: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=24205&Cr=nepal&Cr1=
UN Mission in Nepal
Ian Martin, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Nepal, and head of the UN Mission in Nepal October 5, 2007
The following is a quote by Martin, issued to the media by UNIM. UNMIN has not released a formal statement yet.
“Although there will be great disappointment among many people in Nepal and on the part of the international community, what is important now is that the political parties maintain their alliance and go forward to agree on how to create the conditions for the Constituent Assembly election, and on how to sustain and deepen the peace process and its implementation. UNMIN and the United Nations system in Nepal remain firmly committed to supporting the peace process.”
Quote emailed to Nepal Monitor by Kieran Dwyer, Spokesperson & Chief of Public Information United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN)
In response to questions on developments in Nepal
October 5, 2007
“We are disappointed at the postponement of the elections in Nepal, which has occurred for the third time. The repeated postponement of elections erodes credibility and affects the process of democratic transformation and legitimization in Nepal. We hope that the special session of the Interim Parliament will address all relevant issues democratically, to enable the people of Nepal, who have sacrificed so much, to choose at the earliest their own future and the manner of their governance, through a free and fair election process.”
EU Urges Renewed Focus on Peace Process
October 5, 2007
EU Heads of Mission are deeply disappointed that elections will not take place as scheduled. But this is a new phase and critical opportunity in Nepal’s peace process. The European Union is ready to support this new phase and remains willing to continue helping move the peace process forward. The EU is confident that supporting the peace process is what the overwhelming majority of the Nepalese people want.
We urge the Government, the political parties, civil society and others to work together in support of the peace process and to honour the agreements and commitments they have already made. Setting out a clear plan for what will need to happen to enable free and fair elections to go ahead in the future will be an important part of building trust and confidence in the peace process. An agreed roadmap will be vital.
This roadmap towards credible elections should set out how to take forward the key building blocks of peace. These include:
* re-establishing public security. Lawlessness in parts of the country is increasing. There has been severe violence between communities. Many people live in fear and are often prevented from going about their daily lives unhindered. Supporting and creating confidence in the police and the justice system is vital;
* delivering on agreements made with marginalised groups – Dalits, Janajatis, Madhesis and others. A new Nepal must be a more inclusive Nepal. Their concerns over equal treatment and fair representation in the new society need to be addressed in a consultative and open manner;
* addressing the unresolved issues posed by the Maoist army and their camps. The Maoists cadres and the Nepal Army have been restricted to cantonments and barracks for almost a year. This is not sustainable indefinitely. Moreover, it erodes confidence in peace. Trust needs to be built that the negotiating parties are sincere in their desire to establish a sustainable agreed future for the country’s security forces.
* co-operating fully with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and with the National Human Rights Commission in stamping out ongoing abuses of human rights and addressing past violations.
The Government needs to improve the delivery of basic services in particular health, education and roads. We encourage the parties to develop some high-profile initiatives on basic services which they can jointly support. Development must remain a priority for Government and its international partners. The Nepalese people need to see tangible improvements in their lives, not just political change, if they are to remain confident in the future. We will work with the Government to take this forward.
A clear road map for the peace process, set out publicly, with united seven-party backing, and covering both peace and development, will give the necessary momentum, and will build public confidence in the peace process.
Carter Center Nepal Mission
Kathmandu, October 6, 2007
The Carter Center is disappointed with the announcement of a second postponement of Nepal’s constituent assembly election. The Center hopes that Nepal's political leadership will now use the time ahead of them wisely to reach reasonable compromises on key issues in dispute. The peace process will be under severe stress if the delay is too long, and all sides should as quickly as possible agree on and establish a timeline for implementing key steps and holding an election. This dialogue should focus on full implementation of previously signed agreements including those reached with historically marginalized groups, as well as how best to address the ongoing serious problems in the Terai region. While the postponement is likely to cause disappointment among the people of Nepal, the continuation of the peace process should remain the top priority at this time.
The Center is heartened by the continued commitment of Nepal's Seven Party Alliance to maintaining unity and resolving their differences through dialogue. Additionally, the Center recognizes the commendable work of the Election Commission. The Commission has built confidence among the Nepali people through its impartial and exemplary preparations for the constituent assembly election.
At this time, the Center reminds all of Nepal’s political parties of their responsibility to fulfill their promise to the people of Nepal to achieve sustainable peace and establish multi-party democracy.
Release emailed to Nepal Monitor by Darren Nance, CCN, Kathmandu
Posted by Editor on October 6, 2007 4:41 AM