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Ian Martin Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Nepal:Press Conference (Nepalgunj 1 April 2008)
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Thank you for coming. I am here in Nepalgunj as part of the visit that I am making to three regions. I just came from Biratnagar this morning and yesterday had the opportunity to visit Saptari district. I am travelling on tomorrow to the Far-Western region, and I hope early next week to visit the Western region as well. The purpose of my visit is of course to discuss with my colleagues in UNMIN regional offices our work in this last period before the Constituent Assembly election on 10 April and immediately after that. On Sunday we issued the second report on conditions as we see them for the 10 April election, on the basis of UNMIN’s monitoring and in conjunction with the human rights monitoring of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. I want this afternoon to reemphasise three messages:The first is that violence should have no place in this Constituent Assembly election. I am conscious that it is here in Banke that the killing of an election candidate, Mr. Kamal Adhikari, took place, and I extend my condolences to his family. As I said, I have just come from Biratnagar where I had early condemned the outrage of the bombing of a mosque and expressed condolences to the families involved and to the Muslim community there. And I equally deplore the deaths of Maoist cadres and all too many other injuries that have taken place in clashes during this election campaign. I cannot know what are the motives of all of those involved in these acts of violence. It is vital that the maximum is done to unmask those responsible. I can assure anyone that those who are responsible for these acts, whatever cause they are trying to promote, will lose all sympathy from the international community. My second message is of course that all political parties should respect the electoral Code of Conduct and, in particular, the right of other political parties to campaign freely in any district or village of the country in which they wish to do so. That message was of course given strongly by the Chief Election Commissioner to leaders of political parties yesterday, and I support him and the Election Commission in his insistence that the Code of Conduct should be observed. So far as the international community is concerned, this is going to be the most observed election ever in Nepal, with more than 700, I think now more than 800, international observers present by polling day itself. And, any political party that is inclined to use improper means should realise that, by that, they would lose legitimacy even if they appear to be successful. My third message is that both armies must fully respect the commitments of the Comprehensive Peace Accord and the Agreement on Monitoring the Management of Arms and Armies. As you know, it goes all the way back to the 12-Point Understanding in November 2005 that the Constituent Assembly election should take place without being influenced by either army. That includes of course the importance of the PLA remaining in cantonments now, on polling day and beyond. In the report I have referred to, you will see the latest commitments that I have been given in that regard by Chairman Prachanda in a meeting on Saturday. Tomorrow I will be going with my Chief Arms Monitor, General Jan Erik Wilhelmsen, who is here with us this afternoon, to the Maoist cantonment site in Surkhet. This morning we visited the Nepal Army Brigade headquarters here in Nepalgunj. And we will be doing all that UNMIN can do to ensure that its arms monitoring is as effective as possible, now and on polling day.

#PeaceProcess #Government #HumanRights #Elections
Publisher:
UNMIN ,   (2008 )
Type / Script:
Press Release in English
Keywords:
PEACE PROCESS, POLITICAL PARTIES, POLITICAL PARTICIPATION, POLITICAL CONDITIONS, ARMIES, ARMED FORCES, COMMUNIST PARTIES, HUMAN RIGHTS, PEACE AGREEMENT, CONSTITUTIONS, ELECTIONS
Thematic Group:
 UNMIN : Peace and Conflict through Political Mission
Thesaurus:
01.01.00  -  Political Conditions, Institutions, Movements
Reference Link:
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