Ban Ki-moon congratulates Nepalese on historic elections

10 April 2008

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has commended the people of Nepal for what he called their “enthusiastic participation” in today’s Constituent Assembly elections.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban said that the elections “took place in a generally orderly and peaceful atmosphere,” and appealed to all parties to remain calm while awaiting results.

Mr. Ban’s Special Representative in Nepal, Ian Martin, also congratulated the people of the South Asian nation “who have demonstrated their commitment to democracy by turning out in large numbers to vote in today’s historic Constituent Assembly election.”

The Election Commission’s initial estimate is of a 60 per cent voter turnout, and it has cancelled polls in 33 out of the more than 20,000 polling centres across the country.

“Polling parties and their leaders now need to ensure that they accept the people’s decision through this election, or where they have challenges in relation to the process to pursue these through the proper legal channels,” Mr. Martin said in a statement issued in the capital, Kathmandu.

Electoral staff from the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) will remain in the regions and districts until the count is complete.

Once elected, the Constituent Assembly will be tasked with drafting a new constitution for the country, which has emerged from a decade-long civil war that claimed an estimated 13,000 lives before the Government and Maoist rebels signed a peace accord in 2006.

 

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