IFES Hosts Election Commission of Nepal
IFES Director of Program Development and Innovation Staffan Darnolf, Professor of Government at Dartmouth College John Carey and IFES Senior Global Electoral Adviser and Chief of Party for Indonesia Peter Erben led interactive discussions among the participants on the topics of out-of-country-voting and electoral systems. IFES Vice President of Programs Michael Svetlik welcomed the delegation on behalf of IFES.
The meeting coincides with an interesting and important time in Nepal. Elections for the Constituent Assembly (CA), a unicameral body tasked with drafting a new Constitution that also serves as the country’s parliament, were held in November 2013, after the first CA, elected in 2008, failed to reach an agreement on a Constitution. The new CA has set a January 22, 2015 deadline to complete the new Constitution. Whether the deadline is met remains to be seen, but what is clear is that it will lay out the type of governance system—most likely a federal structure—and establish a particular electoral system. Both of these developments will definitely influence future election processes.
The workshop was the latest interaction in a close partnership between IFES and the ECN. IFES is currently engaged in a five-year program in Nepal on Strengthening Political Parties, Electoral and Legislative Processes as part of USAID’s Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening (CEPPS). Under this program, IFES works closely with the ECN, civil society and other electoral stakeholders to strengthen Nepal’s democratic legal framework, improve the ECN’s electoral management capacity and expand and improve delivery of voter education.