India’s chief election commissioner to observe Nepal polls

April 7th, 2008 - 3:32 pm ICT by admin  

Kathmandu, April 7 (IANS) India’s Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalasami will be arriving in Nepal Tuesday as part of a delegation to observe the historic constituent assembly election Thursday that is regarded as being a crucial step towards restoration of peace and stability in the Himalayan nation. Gopalasami is part of a delegation of election commissioners from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries who are among the teams of observers invited by Nepal’s government.

The government here has invited over 100 teams to monitor the first-ever election that will enable Nepalis to write their own constitution and decide the fate of the monarchy.

Another high-profile observer is arriving in Kathmandu Monday evening. Former US president and Nobel laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn are leading a delegation of observers on behalf of the NGO Carter Center. Nepali Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and the Maoists have joined in inviting him.

Missions from the UN and EU will also observe Thursday’s election to assess if it is free and fair. The poll will decide the fate of nearly-250-year-old Shah dynasty of kings.

Koirala has also sent a personal invitation to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. However, the UN has not said if Ban will accept the invitation.

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