Kingdom of Nepal: Transmission of Results for Parliamentary General Elections May 1999
The IFES team that undertook the Nepal election assistance project consisted of the IFES Senior Program Assistant for Asia, Senior IT Specialist, and IFES consultant Dr. Jorge I. Tirado, a computer professional and computer lawyer with extensive experience in electoral systems.
The IFES consultant arrived in Nepal on April 23, 1999. He began the assignment by gathering and evaluating pertinent information in order to determine, as an independent entity, if the envisioned system for transmitting election results would comply with officials' expectations.
IFES provided technical assistance to the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) in several areas, to improve the transmission and reporting of election results for the May 1999 national election:
• assistance with the procurement of computer equipment, and
• assistance with developing, testing, and implementing a reporting system-with the ability to receive, tally, and count election results accurately and efficiently.
The main concern of the project was to help the Election Commission develop and install a system with the ability to comply with minimum election standards, those that an election official would expect an election tally and results transmission system to be able to handle. The IFES team effectively succeeded in its efforts, thus helping the ECN obtain a reliable and timely results transmission system.
The system implemented consisted of a central computerized results receiving center, where constituency results summaries were periodically sent via fax from the districts. The receiving center processed results and distributed the information to government officials, media, and the general public, via Intranet and Internet.
It is clear that the system should be enhanced in the future to include the use of computers in the vote tally process at the district level, and transmit results from the districts via telecommunication to the central office. The current system won praise during the 1999 elections, however, for its capacity to facilitate data capturing, processing, and dissemination of election results.
During the trip to Nepal, the IFES consultant had several meetings with the U.S. Embassy Political Officer and the US Ambassador to Nepal. He had several informal discussions on the current election results project status and future electoral process in Nepal, as well as a debriefing at the end of the mission.