Forty Long-Term Observers Join EU Election Observation Mission
Kathmandu, 24 March 2008 - Forty European Union long-term election observers have arrived in Nepal for the Constituent Assembly election scheduled to take place on 10 April. They come from 15 different EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland.
They join the core team of nine election experts based in Kathmandu, who arrived on 9 March to set up and coordinate the mission. The EU Election Observation Mission is led by Jan Mulder, a Dutch Member of the European Parliament.
After an extensive briefing in Kathmandu, the long-term observers will be deployed throughout Nepal in teams of two on 25 March. They will cover 62 out of the 75 districts, with two mobile teams traveling around other less accessible districts.
“The long-term observers will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the electoral process in their area before, during and after election day,” said Deputy Chief Observer Thomas Boserup. “They will not just be confined to district capitals, but will go right out into the villages. The fact that we have such a large number of observers, who will be staying in the field for several weeks after election day, shows our commitment to transparent elections and democratic reform in Nepal.”
A further 70 short-term observers are due to join the mission on 1 April. They will be deployed to the districts before election day in order to observe the voting and counting processes. In total, the mission will be made up of 120 people from 22 EU countries as well as Norway and Switzerland.
All EU observers are bound by an internationally accepted code of conduct as well as the Nepali code of conduct for election observation. This means that they maintain strict neutrality in the course of their work and cannot interfere in any way in the electoral process.
The EU election observation mission will give its preliminary assessment of the election at a press conference shortly after election day. It will stay in Nepal for several weeks after the election and publish a more comprehensive, final report within two months of the end of the electoral process.
FOR THE ATTENTION OF TV CREWS AND PICTURE EDITORS:
There will be an opportunity to film observers leaving the Yak and Yeti hotel for the districts between 0600 and 0700 on the morning of 25 March.
For more information please contact: Anna Owen, Press Officer
Mobile: +977 98418 90881
Landline: +977 1 4441501/2
Office: Hotel Yak and Yeti, west wing 3rd floor, Durbar Marg, Kathmandu