EU says, Nepal polls met international standard

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Kathmandu, Apr 12 : Describing the Constituent Assembly election in Nepal as a crucial step towards an inclusive democracy, European Observation Mission on Saturday said that so far the election has met several international standards.

However, the campaign period was tense across the country and marred by incidents of intimidation and violence, EU said in a statement.

"I commend the people of Nepal for the largely peaceful way in which voting took place despite the difficult circumstances. Voters turned out in large numbers and showed a genuine commitment to an inclusive election," said Jan Mulder, Chief Observer,

"It is now our sincere hope that, as the counting process gets underway across the country, all political parties and their leaders will respect the will of the people and the rule of law by waiting patiently for the election results," he added.

EU said that there were numerous incidents of clashes between members of political parties and, regrettably, a number of people were killed during the campaign period and that lack of law and order and poor security environment contributed to a general atmosphere of fear and intimidation and at times undermined the right to campaign freely.

"Freedom of speech in the media was generally respected but there were a number of assaults on journalists and one journalist was kidnapped during the final days of the campaign," the report further said.

"The election commission was independent, largely transparent and conducted technical preparations efficiently but failed to address numerous complaints about breaches of the code of conduct related to partisan government employees, misuse of state resources and electoral violence," said EU.

Josep Borrel, the head of a delegation from the European Parliament said that the long awaited election has demonstrated the enthusiasm of the people of Nepal for multi-party democracy and constitutional reform.

"We urge political parties to act responsibly in the coming weeks and show commitment to furthering the country's democratic progress. The election commission should also ensure the detailed publication of the final results as a safeguard to ensure transparency," nepalnews.com quoted him, as saying.

ANI

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