No foreign observers for local polls: EC

Kathmandu, April 24

The Election Commission has made it clear that no foreign observers will be mobilised to observe the forthcoming local level elections.

Election Commissioner Ishwori Prasad Poudyal said only national observers would be mobilised for poll observation. “As this is not a parliamentary or general election, only Nepali organisations are allowed to observe the polls on May 14,” Poudyal added.

The election body reached this decision considering the practices of other countries as well, said the Election Commissioner.

Meanwhile, the election commission has selected about four dozens organisations as poll observers. These include National Election Observation Committee and INSEC.

These national-level organisations, which had observed the past two Constituent Assembly elections, were selected after they met the criteria set in the EC guidelines.

The EC had issued a directive for local level election observers, as per which the relevant observer organisation has to deploy at least 100 observers in all three geographical regions — mountains, hills and the Tarai — and submit their reports to the EC.

A source said that many foreign organisations and regional bodies, including Carter Centre and European Union had shown interest in observing the forthcoming polls slated for May 14.

In the Assembly elections held in 2008 and 2013, many regional bodies and international organisations, including the EU and Carter Centre, had observed the polls.

Surya Prasad Aryal, information officer at EC, told The Himalayan Times that a foreign organisation, can still independently inspect the polls in the upcoming elections, but their reports and recommendation would have no validity.


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