UNMIN to parties: Make polls possible

Kathmandu, June 25:

The United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has welcomed the announcement of the date for the Constituent Assembly election in Nepal.

Issuing a press statement today, the UNMIN said the announcement to hold the election on November 22 was a critical step in the peace process, and lauded the “strong commitment” of the political parties to work together to fulfil the historic promise to the people of Nepal to form a democratically elected Constituent Assembly.

“UNMIN’s presence in Nepal and all aspects of its work are for the purpose of assisting in creating a free and fair atmosphere for this election, and UNMIN is strongly committed to the achievement of this objective,” stated the release.

The UNMIN stated that it was essential that all parties commit themselves to addressing the considerable challenges that remain in order to create a free and fair atmosphere for the election.

Stating that the announcement of the election date alone was not sufficient, the UNMIN urged the parties to put forward a realistic plan and timetable to achieve rapid progress on simultaneous fronts, both technical and logistical as well as on political and security issues.

It also urged the interim government to continue to engage in real dialogue with historically marginalised groups — Madhesis, Janajatis, Dalits, women and others. This dialogue is “essential to ensure that there is a broad consensus among all elements of the electorate on the electoral system”.

“Public security continues to be a fundamental challenge. This requires not just a plan for security at the time of the election itself, but the creation of conditions in all districts and villages which allow all parties to conduct their activities from now on without facing intimidation and violence,” stated the release.

The UNMIN reiterated its willingness to provide assistance to such a national independent body for monitoring purposes. It urged all parties to commit themselves to dialogue as the means to work through differences without violence. Urging the government to take action to guarantee public security through professional law enforcement, it called on all parties to fulfil their commitments so as to promote an atmosphere of tolerance in which a conducive climate for the election can be created.