More Links in News & Events

Carter Center Commends Election Commission of Nepal on Progress in Voter Registration, Encourages Efforts to Increase Citizen Turnout

नेपालीमा पढ्नुहोस

In Atlanta, Deborah Hakes, +1 404 420 5124
In Kathmandu, Sarah Levit-Shore, +977 985 110 0712

Kathmandu… In a report released today, The Carter Center commended the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) for registering nearly eight million Nepali citizens to date and encouraged the ECN to undertake additional efforts to reach out to millions more who have yet to participate in the process.

Based on the current rate of registration, the ECN will not reach its initial target of registering 11 million citizens by mid-July and will need to seek additional opportunities to reach its overall target of 14.7 million eligible citizens.

Two main challenges that have considerably affected registration turnout include Limbuwan and Madhesi political party obstructions in parts of the Tarai and Eastern Hills and the significant number of individuals who do not readily possess required proof of eligibility documents, particularly citizenship certificates.

"Carter Center observers have found that the issue of eligible Nepalis lacking citizenship certificates is a concern nationwide," said Sarah Levit-Shore, country representative of The Carter Center in Nepal. "Positively, we have seen an increase in the number of citizenship certificate applications in recent months. However, it is unclear how many individuals remain without the documents required to register due to travel costs, distance, and other barriers."

The Carter Center also commended the ECN on efforts to address challenges to the registration process, notably through a May 27 agreement that ended Limbuwan party obstructions and a decision to introduce out-of-district registration, whereby citizens who have relocated can register in any place for the address listed on their citizenship certificates. Both of these steps will help to bolster registration turnout.

The Center found ECN officials to be professional and well-trained, and that the process at registration places has gone largely smoothly. However, with field-based registration possibly soon drawing to a close, the ECN now needs to significantly strengthen its data management processes.

"The Election Commission of Nepal has consistently demonstrated good will and flexibility throughout the voter registration process," said Dr. David Pottie, associate director of the Carter Center's Democracy Program. "Affording citizens the opportunity for out-of-district registration is a positive step, but more needs to be done to reach the millions who have yet to register."

The Carter Center hopes that the ECN will benefit from the report's assessment and build on its efforts to promote greater access and opportunity for all Nepalis who wish to register to vote.

Summary of Key Recommendations

The Election Commission of Nepal should:

  • Extend the current voter registration exercise as necessary to ensure registration is conducted in all locations, notably in districts affected by obstructions,
  • Conduct a voter registration exercise to reach individuals who missed registration to date, by reopening registration centers in each municipal ward and Village Development Committee from August to November 2011, as is presently being considered by the ECN,
  • Prioritize implementation of the data management plan,
  • Continue efforts to reach agreement with Madhesi parties to end voter registration obstructions,
  • Continue lobbying the government to make effective arrangements to issue citizenship certificates to all eligible citizens,
  • Establish additional continuous registration locations to provide increased access to citizens, and
  • Ensure targeted voter education efforts to increase awareness of out-of-district and continuous registration.


The Government of Nepal should:


  • Increase its efforts to issue citizenship certificates to all eligible Nepali citizens, as called for by the Supreme Court in February 2011, and
  • Continue efforts to support the ECN to end ongoing obstructions by Madhesi political parties.


Political Parties and Civil Society should:


  • Play a more active and supportive role in the voter registration process; and
  • Madhesi parties obstructing the voter registration process should use proper legal channels to raise their grievances and should ensure that their protests are peaceful.

The Center's full report is available at

Working to support peace in Nepal since 2003, The Carter Center deployed an international election observation mission to observe the 2008 constituent assembly elections. The Center has remained in-country to observe the constitution drafting efforts and the peace process, with a focus on the local level. Read all the Carter Center reports on Nepal's peace process at


The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, the Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; improving mental health care; and teaching farmers to increase crop production.

Read full report in English (PDF)

Read Carter Center reports on Nepal's peace process

Donate Now

Sign Up For Email

Please sign up below for important news about the work of The Carter Center and special event invitations.

Please leave this field empty
Now, we invite you to Get Involved
Back To Top