UN electoral team on marathon meet

Kathmandu, July 30:

The United Nations Electoral Expert Monitoring Team met the officials concerned and political leaders on its second visit to Kathmandu today.

The EEMT is here to make an overall assessment of the ongoing electoral process and to see whether the environment was conducive to hold the Constituent Assembly polls, scheduled for November 22.

The five-member team comprises Spanish team leader Dr Rafael Lopez-Pintor, Syrian Ayman Ayoub, Swiss Stefanie Luthy (Switzerland), Brazilian Antonio Reis, and South Korean Bong-Scuk Sohn. “The EEMT will meet top government and EC officials and leaders of the political parties,” said a UN official here.

Appointed directly by the UN Secretary-General, members of the EEMT are responsible for reviewing all technical aspects of the Constituent Assembly electoral process and report to the UN Secretary-General.

The first report of the EEMT covering the findings of their visit last June was submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the government and the Chief Election Commissioner on July 17.

The EEMT reports to the Secretary-General and is not a part of the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN). “It operates separately from the UNMIN Electoral Assistance Office, which provides technical assistance to the Election Commission,” according to UNMIN.

Meanwhile, the second stage of verification of Maoist combatants in Sindhuli cantonment is least likely to begin anytime soon. “All Maoist commanders are in Kathmandu to attend the Central Secretariat’s meet, which would last at least two weeks. In the absence of Maoist commanders at the cantonment sites, the verification process would not proceed,” said a diplomatic source.