US says ‘alarmed’ at attacks on candidatesThe United States has expressed its concern over the recent attacks on candidates for Nepal’s upcoming provincial and federal elections.
The United States has expressed its concern over the recent attacks on candidates for Nepal’s upcoming provincial and federal elections.
Issuing a statement on Monday, the US Embassy in Kathmandu said: “Following the largely peaceful conduct of Nepal’s three phases of local elections, the United States is alarmed at recent attacks on political candidates and condemns any attempt to impede the electoral process through the use of violence.”
Over a dozen incidents of attack on candidates and election rallies have been reported in different parts of the country of late, including on some senior leaders.
“We call on all sides to maintain and uphold a peaceful and democratic election process for both rounds of upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections,” the embassy said in the statement. “A key principle of democratic electoral systems is protecting the rights of citizens to participate in the electoral process without fear of violence or harm.
“We urge everyone to respect the freedoms of peaceful expression and assembly and individual voters’ rights as laid out in Nepal’s laws and constitution.”
Stating that elections are a time for political debate, but in a democracy, the mechanism for expressing disagreements is through the ballot box, the embassy added: “We also call on the security forces to exercise restraint and comply with national and international standards when carrying out their duties.”
The US has also expressed its commitment to working with all stakeholders for a peaceful, inclusive and credible election process.