KATHMANDU, March 24: Defending its recommendations that courted serious controversy in Nepal, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) has said it is up to Nepal to accept or not the recommendations offered by them in a spirit of partnership.
Issuing a press statement after its final report on the recently held parliamentary and provincial assembly polls drew flak from various quarters, the EU poll observation mission argued that the assessment and recommendations made in the EUEOM's final report are based on international and regional commitments for democratic elections to which Nepal is a signatory.
"All recommendations are offered by the EUEOM in a spirit of partnership, for the consideration of the host country. It remains up to the appreciation of the Nepali authorities and people to decide on the terms of their Constitution and legislative framework," said the statement.
While stating that the suggested recommendations were widely consulted and discussed at a roundtable on December 28, 2017, the EU poll mission said the report offered recommendations, which include the review of administrative practices, legislation and constitutions in line with the standard practice for international election observation missions. "In so doing, the EU EOM fully abided by its terms of reference and the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the authorities of Nepal," it added.
The EU poll observation mission which released its report on Tuesday amidst a function had drawn flak from various quarters after it recommended excluding Khas/Arya from what it called the quota system. Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) alleged that "such a controversial recommendation poses challenge to the constitution promulgated by the sovereign decision of the Nepali people."
The poll observation team also suggested to the Election Commission (EC) to “enhance the transparency of the election body through regular consultations with stakeholders and timely publication of all information of public interest.”
The EC in a separate statement on Thursday termed the report and the press statement issued by the poll observation group as "misleading", "baseless" and against the established norms of the international poll observation code of conduct. While announcing that it "totally rejects" the final poll observation report, the election body accused the EU poll observation mission of breaching the poll observation code of conduct meant for international poll observers and the MoU signed with the EC.