KATHMANDU, Sept 21: The international community in Nepal has congratulated the people of Nepal for their participation in the first local elections held in two decades.
Issuing a joint statement on Wednesday, they said that the elections are an important contribution toward revitalizing democracy at the grassroots level.
“We recognize the Government of Nepal and the Election Commission’s significant efforts which have allowed the completion of the complex and technical preparations needed to undertake nation-wide elections for the 753 local units. This provides important lessons for future elections,” said the statement.
Those issuing the joint statement include the Embassy of Australia, the Embassy of Denmark, the Embassy of Germany, Delegation of the European Union, the Embassy of Finland, the Embassy of Norway, the Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of the United Kingdom and the Embassy of the United States of America.
The ambassadors of these countries had gathered at the UN House in Pulchowk on Wednesday to issue the joint statement. Sources said the envoys of some of these countries had suggested showing their concerns over the violation of the election code of conduct by the government during the election.
The envoys maintained that mass transfer of bureaucrats, senior police officials and judges and cabinet expansion ahead of the elections had seriously undermined the sanctity of the elections. It was, however, agreed to refer their concerns indirectly, saying that “This provides important lessons for future elections.”
The countries issuing the joint statement have also encouraged the political parties and the government of Nepal to consolidate the role of the newly elected local authorities, so that they can fulfill the promise of decentralization, outlined in the constitution. “The dates for the elections to State Assemblies and the House of Representatives have already been set, these are important steps on the road to the effective implementation of the constitution. We trust that these elections will be held in a peaceful, inclusive and broadly supported manner,” said the statement.
Local elections held after a hiatus of two decades were held in three phases. Over 77 percent voters had cast their votes in the local polls held in the third phase in Province 2 on Monday. The voter turnout, was recorded 73.81 and 73.38 in the first and second phases of local elections, respectively.
The countries issuing the statement have also reaffirmed their commitment to work with all stakeholders for the further implementation of the Constitution and in support of the aspirations of the Nepali people.