CONTACTS: Atlanta, Deborah Hakes +1 404 420 5124; Kathmandu, David Hamilton +977 985 110 0712
The Carter Center has launched an international election observation mission for Nepal's Nov. 19, 2013, constituent assembly election at the invitation of Interim Election Council Chair Khil Raj Regmi and the Election Commission of Nepal and the welcome of political parties.
The Center observed Nepal's 2008 constituent assembly election and has remained present conducting long-term political and constitutional monitoring to June 2013. Over the course of that project, The Carter Center issued more than 20 public reports on issues including security, federalism, identity-based politics, voter registration, and land ownership, among others. All reports are available on the Center's website.
"The Carter Center hopes that this election observation mission will reassure the Nepalese people that their efforts to draft a new constitution can succeed. Competitive and peaceful elections for a new constituent assembly are the best chance for Nepal to get back on the path to democracy and development," said Carter Center Democracy Program Associate Director David Pottie.
The Center deployed this week 12 long-term observers across Nepal, placing teams in the five development regions and a roaming team in the Terai region, to gain firsthand knowledge of the activities of the election commission, political parties, civil society organizations, and the international community, as well as other citizen and international election observation missions.
These 12 observers, representing eight countries, will be joined by an additional 40 short-term observers shortly before the elections. The Center will release periodic public statements on electoral findings, which will be available at www.cartercenter.org.
The early deployment of long-term observers will allow the Center to assess pre-election preparations. The Carter Center also will closely monitor legal and political developments that may impact the election, as well as partner with national organizations to advance citizen election observation skills and training.
The Center's observation mission is conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Principles for International Election Observation and Code of Conduct that was adopted at the United Nations in 2005 and has been endorsed by more than 40 election observation groups. The Center assesses the electoral process based on Nepal's national legal framework and its obligations for democratic elections contained in regional and international agreements.
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A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter 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; and improving mental health care. 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.