EU establishes election observation mission in Nepal

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Kathmandu, Mar 19 (UNI) The European Union has established a mission here to observe the Constituent Assembly election slated for April 10.

The head of the EU election observation mission, Mr Jan Mulder, said the mission would comprise 120 observers from 22 different EU countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland.

''Now it is the responsibility of all those involved in the election, notably the political parties and their leaders, to ensure that candidates are able to campaign in a peaceful environment that is free from intimidation or violence,'' mission head Mr Mulder said.

''And the people of Nepal can exercise their democratic rights to vote freely,'' he added.

The mission is made up of a core team of ten election experts, including the chief observer, who would coordinate the mission from their office in Kathmandu.

Forty long-term observers would arrive on March 22 and would be deployed in teams of two around the country to assess the campaign period and pre-election preparations, he said.

Before election day, around 70 short-term observers, including a delegation of members of the European Parliament, would join the mission to observe voting and counting, he added.

The Mission would remain in the country for several weeks after the election to assess the final stages of the electoral process, Mr Mulder informed.

Dozens of election observation teams would be involved in the monitoring of election on April 10, he added.

UNI XC RJ DS1337

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