EU launches Election Observation Mission to Nepal

Nepal Foreign Affairs (KATHMANDU, 7 November 2017)  – The European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) for the elections to the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies was officially launched today by Chief Observer, Željana Zovko, a Member of the European Parliament from Croatia.

“It is a great privilege to have been given this opportunity to lead the EU Election Observation Mission to Nepal,” said Željana Zovko at a press conference in Kathmandu.

The elections on 26 November and 7 December mark an important stage in Nepal’s democratic development, and I very much hope that our presence will contribute to an inclusive and transparent electoral process.

Over the last two days, Ms Zovko has held meetings with the Election Commission of Nepal, government officials, as well as with representatives of political parties.  Zovko explained that the mandate of the EU EOM is to observe all aspects of the electoral process and to assess the extent to which the elections are in compliance with the laws of Nepal, as well as with international and regional commitments for democratic elections to which Nepal is a signatory.

The mission is currently made up of a core team of 10 election analysts based in Kathmandu, who arrived in Nepal on 25 October, as well as 38 long-term observers (LTOs) who were this morning deployed across the country to observe electoral preparations and the campaign throughout Nepal.

 “As I speak, our long-term observers are on their way to all the provinces. As soon as they arrive, they will start to meet with election officials, candidates and representatives of civil society. They will report their observations back to the core team in Kathmandu, and these will contribute to the mission’s informed and impartial assessment of the electoral process,” explained Zovko. Shortly before the first election day on 26 November, the mission will be reinforced by 20 short-term observers (STOs), who will observe election day proceedings.

A further 24 short-term observers will arrive to observe the second election day on 7 December, as well as the subsequent counting of results. LTOs and STOs will also be joined by a delegation of seven Members of the European Parliament, as well as diplomats from European embassies resident in Nepal.

This will  bring the total number of EU observers over the two phases of the election to more than 100. EU observers adhere to a strict code of conduct for international election observers that requires they maintain strict neutrality and impartiality in the course of their work and do not interfere in the electoral process. Shortly after the second and final phase of the elections, the mission will issue a preliminary statement of its initial findings. The mission will remain in Nepal until the completion of the electoral process.

A more comprehensive final report, including recommendations for future elections, will be published afterwards.

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