Three missions permitted to watch pollsThree diplomatic missions have got permission so far to observe the June 28 vote.
Three diplomatic missions have got permission so far to observe the June 28 vote.
According to a source at the Election Commission, Japanese and Swiss embassies have been permitted to observe the elections in Biratnagar Metropolis while the Finnish mission will watch the polls in Dhangadi Sub-metropolis.
During the first phase of local polls, a dozen foreign diplomatic missions from Australia, Thailand, Finland, Myanmar, Pakistan, Japan, France, Israel, South Korea, China and two other countries had got the EC’s nod to observe the polls in Kathmandu Valley.
The commission has arranged for the missions to observe the vote in Biratnagar and Dhankuta in Province 1, Bhairahawa and Palpa in Province 5 and Dhangadi and Dadeldhura in Province 7. “We are open to allowing more embassies to observe the polls,” said the EC official.
The EC has a policy of allowing diplomats to visit certain locations on the polling day. However, they cannot comment publicly on the vote before, during and after the election, unlike other designated local observers.
The diplomatic missions have to abstain from adjudicating disputes, certifying the results or providing written statements as evidence in dispute settlement.
The EC has allowed 7,089 observers associated with 47 local institutions for Wednesday’s vote. It does not permit international observers to watch the local elections.
After the May 14 vote, the United States and the United Kingdom had publicly urged the EC to allow unrestricted access for international observers during the second phase in order to enable the international community, including accredited diplomats, to offer support.