Security Council ‘disappointed’ at Nepal elections delay – President

Council President Amb. Christian

9 October 2007 – Members of the Security Council today, recognizing the strong desire of the Nepalese people for peace following a decade-long conflict, expressed “disappointment” at the delay to Constituent Assembly elections that were scheduled to be held next month, the 15-member body’s president said.

In a statement to the press, Ambassador Leslie K. Christian of Ghana said the Council agreed that the international community “needed to help Nepal to create the conditions necessary to hold credible elections.”

Once elected, the Constituent Assembly will draft a new constitution for Nepal, where an estimated 13,000 people were killed during the decade-long civil conflict that came to a formal end when the Government and the Maoists signed a peace accord late last year.

The polls were to have taken place in June but were then postponed to 22 November because of technical problems and the onset of the monsoon season. Earlier this month, Nepal’s Interim Government announced another delay, prompting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to voice his disappointment at the postponement.

In a statement on 5 October, Mr. Ban strongly urged the Seven-Party Alliance which comprises the interim coalition Government “to redouble efforts so that outstanding issues can be expeditiously resolved and the election held very soon.”

In its statement today, the Council also reiterated their full support for the work of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), established in January to support the peace process in the Himalayan nation.

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