Kingdom of Nepal: Technical Assessment of Election System Performance, Phase 2: July-August 2000

INTRODUCTION

On 17 May 1999 the Kingdom of Nepal completed its third parliamentary general elections since the restoration of democracy in 1990. The elections were held in two phases. On May 3, the first phase was held in 36 districts. On May 17, the second phase was held in the remaining 39 districts. Most observers viewed the election as basically free and fair. A total of 8,894,664 (65.79%) of the 13,518,813 registered voters cast their ballots in an atmosphere of relative peace and order.

Despite the widely recognized success of the 1999 election, the Election Commission of Nepal, political parties, and international and domestic observers identified a number of problems in the conduct of the elections. These problems centered on

         Location and number of voters at polling stations

         Identification of voters in areas with voter identity (10) cards

         Allegations of violations of the election Code of Conduct

         Resolution of election complaints

         Violation of campaign expenditure limits

Through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the International Foundation for Election Systems' (IFES) Senior Advisor for Election Administration Joe Baxter traveled to Nepal from 26 December 1999 to 7 January 2000 to assess the current administrative and procedural framework of Nepal's election system and to explore possible areas for improvement of the process. During the mission, Mr. Baxter met with officials from the Election Commission of Nepal and civil society organizations interested in the electoral process.  
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