Nepal Today

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Kathmandu, 12 Aug. UC{N Maoist union of government officials has
One faction of Rashtriya KarmacharySanghatan is led by former
Chairman  Mahadip Pokhel and another by Vice-chairman Dayaram Bashyal.
Kathmandu, 12 Aug.: The Election Commission has invited domestic and foreign election observers to express interests for monitoring the November 19 Constituent Assembly
Elections, Bhadra Sharma writes in The Kathmandu Post..
Both the national and international observers can apply for election monitoring from Monday onwards, said Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety. The election body is soliciting direct and online applications from prospective observers. International observers are allowed to be registered through online. The poll observation policy prepared by the EC has set separate criteria for national and international observers.
Though the committee earlier proposed a bachelor’s degree as the minimum qualification of an observer, the EC has adopted some flexibility in terms of their academic qualification. Foreign observers should have at least an intermediate degree along with an experience in the field. In case of local observers, the Commission will accept people with a School Leaving Certificate if they have a good knowledge of and an experience in the election process.
The directive requires observers to submit their monitoring reports to the election authority within 30 days of the polls. Observers should disassociate themselves from a political party before embarking on election monitoring while they will be automatically disqualified if their political linkage is proved.
Unlike in the past elections, the observers will not be allowed to make formal comments on the vote before ballot-counting is over across the country. An institution should monitor at least 100 polling stations in the Mountain, Hill and the Tarai representing all the development regions. Observers who did not submit their reports during the 2008 CA polls will be blacklisted.
Of the 148 national and 30 international observers monitoring the first CA vote, only 23 national and five international institutions submitted their reports to the EC.
Voter registration dilemma
The Election Commission is in a dilemma over reopening voter registration following a government concern whether the move could affect the CA elections. On August 3, the election body had stated that it would reopen voter registration within a couple of days. But the EC is in fix even after a week elapsed since its commitment.
EC sources say the election body is in a dilemma after the Chairman of the Interim Election Government Khil Raj Regmi suggested the Commission not to take any decision that affects the November poll.
Asked when why the government is delaying to resume voter registration, Chief Election Commissioner Uprety said the Commission is analysing legal, technical and administrative aspects before reopening voter registration.
“We are still trying to find a short window to adjust the missing voter registration,” said Uprety.
“Since all commissioners were out of the Capital we could not decide on the issue. We will soon come up with our position within a couple of days,” he added.
Kathmandu, 12 Aug.: CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya on Sunday reiterated that his party is ready to participate in the Constituent Assembly (CA)
elections if the current, The Kathmandu Post reports.
political course is altered but warned that the polls, if held under the existing circumstances, might lead to another conflict.
“Even the four parties admit that the 25-point presidential decree was a mistake. It should be scrapped to create an environment conducive for the elections,” said Baidya in a programme organised by the Federal Socialist Party in Kathmandu on Sunday. He stressed that the four parties must not shy away from agreement to continue dialogue with the poll-opposing parties. He said the roundtable conference should open the way for the formation of another government and said there should be some agreement in the contentious issues of the constitution writing process.
Baidya also accused some political forces of hatching a plot to make the negotiation unsuccessful. “Some leaders are claiming that some unforeseen accident would occur if the election doesn’t take place in November 19. There should be an all-party agreement to make the election a success,” Baidya said.
He appealed all the poll-opposing forces, especially the Ashok Rai-led party, to hold the anti-polls protest together.
Addressing the programme, civil society members urged all parties to give up their ego and personal ambitions to make the proposed roundtable conference a success.
They stressed that there is no other way to end the current political deadlock except the election. “Everyone should compromise for a breakthrough. Baidya and all the poll-opposing forces should participate in the elections. Election is the prime need of the time,” said Daman Nath Dhungana, a civil society leader.
Malla K Sundar, another civil society leader, said the political parties should be clear about their agendas before the conference. He said the conference should include non-political groups like the civil society, Dalits, Muslim, Janajatis and others. “The conference should hold an open discussion on issues raised by the past movements and existing agendas associated with inclusion, identity and election,” he said.
Bhoj Raj Pokherl, former chief election commissioner, said the election held by sidelining some parties cannot produce meaningful outcome. He cautioned the political parties that the election should not be a cause of another conflict.
Sundar Mani Dixit said the four parties should also be ready to shift the poll date for few days to bring the dissident groups on board. Political analyst CK Lal cautioned that such talks may even lead to unexpected results at times.
FSPN leaders, including Chairman Ashok Rai and General Secretary Rajendra Shrestha, hinted that the party might collaborate with other dissident parties, including the CPN-Maoist, after completing of its ongoing protest.


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