First group of EU short-term election observers to arrive in Nepal
KATHMANDU — An additional group of 20 election observers from the European Union Election Observation Mission to Nepal (EU EOM) will arrive tomorrow in Kathmandu to observe the elections on 26 November and 7 December.
After a two-day briefing in the capital, the 20 observers – known as short-term observers – will be deployed to districts where the first phase of the elections is taking place. Along with EU long-term observers, who arrived in Nepal nearly three weeks ago, they will observe the opening of polling centres, voting on election day, the closing of polling centres and the subsequent transportation of election materials to district offices.
The 20 short-term observers will then move to other districts for the second phase of the elections when a further 24 short-term observers also join the mission. EU observers will be present for the counting of ballots in both first and second phase districts.
The EU EOM is led by Chief Observer, Željana Zovko, a Member of the European Parliament from Croatia. The mission comprises a core team of 10 analysts, who arrived in Nepal on 25 October; 38 long-term observers; 44 short-term observers; a delegation of seven Members of the European Parliament, as well as diplomats from European embassies resident in Nepal. This will bring the total number of EU observers over the two phases of the election to more than 100, making it the largest international observer mission.
The delegation of Members of the European Parliament also arrives in Nepal this week to participate in the mission. Its members will hold meetings in Kathmandu before being deployed to districts to observe voting.
“EU observers will visit polling centres in both urban and rural areas, in order to provide the EU EOM with a balanced picture of both election days across Nepal,” said Chief Observer, Željana Zovko. “The work of the short-term observers, that of the long-term observers, as well as that of the core team in Kathmandu will allow the EU EOM to make an independent and impartial assessment of the whole electoral process.”
The Chief Observer will visit Janakpur on 22-23 November to meet with election officials and political parties. Ms Zovko will observe election day on 26 November at polling centres in Baglung.
EU observers adhere to a strict code of conduct for international election observers that requires they maintain strict neutrality and impartiality in the course of their work and do not interfere in the electoral process.
The mission will issue a preliminary statement of its initial findings at a press conference only after the second and final phase of the elections. It will remain in Nepal until the completion of the electoral process. A more comprehensive final report, including recommendations for future elections, will be published afterwards.