UN chief calls for peaceful holding of Nepal's Constituent Assembly polls

Voter registration in Nepal. Photo: IRIN/Naresh Newar

16 November 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to all stakeholders in Nepal to conclude the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections peacefully so the country can proceed with the urgent task of drafting a new constitution.

A statement issued by his spokesperson last night said Mr. Ban has closely followed the preparations for the polls, which are scheduled for 19 November.

“He has been greatly encouraged by the commitment and professionalism with which the government, the Election Commission and the political parties have engaged in the process, despite challenges,” the spokesperson stated.

“Much of the election campaign has been conducted in a spirit of free and open competition, and with a commitment to the peaceful democratic future of Nepal. On election day, it is the turn of voters to express their choice freely, according to their universal democratic rights, in an atmosphere free of violence and intimidation.”

The South Asian nation has been plagued by political disputes since a civil war between Government forces and Maoists formally ended in 2006 and the monarchy was abolished.

The first Constituent Assembly, elected in 2008, was unable to complete the drafting of a new constitution before it was dissolved in May 2012.

Despite various challenges, there have been important achievements in the United Nations-backed 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.

“The Secretary-General appeals to all stakeholders to conclude these elections peacefully, and to redouble their efforts in the urgent task of constitution-making, building upon the admirable gains made so far,” said the statement.


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