Nepal: Ban urges all parties to ‘maintain momentum’ to hold elections within timetable

Voter registration in Nepal. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

24 May 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged all parties in Nepal to overcome remaining political obstacles to hold the country’s next elections within the existing timetable.

In a statement, Mr. Ban’s spokesperson said the Secretary-General “has been following events in Nepal closely,” and “urges all parties to maintain momentum by overcoming the remaining political obstacles to hold the next elections within the existing timetable of the recent 11-point agreement.”

In March, the four major political parties signed an agreement which appointed the country’s chief justice to head the government that will oversee the holding of Constituent Assembly elections, effectively ending the political stalemate that began late last year. The agreement has mandated that elections be held by 21 June or mid-December 2013 at the latest.

“The Secretary-General expresses the continuing commitment of the United Nations to work closely with Nepal in support of the peace process,” the statement said.

Nepal has been plagued by political disputes since a civil war between Government forces and Maoists formally ended in 2007 and the monarchy was abolished.

The UN has closely supported Nepal’s peace process, having had a political mission in the country from 2007 until 2011. There have been important achievements in the peace process, including the completion of the discharge and integration process of the ex-Maoist army, the successful and largely peaceful elections in 2008, the removal of all minefields, and a smooth transition to a Republic.

However, challenges have included a missed 27 May 2012 deadline for a new constitution and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly that followed.

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