U.S. Statement on Completion of Second Round Local Elections in Nepal

June 29, 2017

The United States appreciates the efforts of everyone who participated in conducting what appears to have been generally orderly, peaceful, and broadly supported local elections in Provinces 1, 5, and 7 yesterday.

As Nepal prepares for the third phase of local elections in Province 2 in September, we urge all stakeholders to work to create the necessary conditions to ensure that the people of Province 2 will also have the same opportunity to peacefully exercise their democratic right to elect local representation.

The United States once again strongly encourages the Government of Nepal to permit unrestricted international election observation during this crucial final phase of local elections, in order to enable the international community, including accredited diplomats, to observe and offer support to the outcomes of the election.

We encourage continued efforts to reach a political agreement enabling the broadest participation of voters in the final phase of local elections.  Compromises may be required on all sides.  We also look forward Nepal’s timely completion of elections at the provincial and national levels in order to solidify the credibility of the electoral process and strengthen democratic transition across Nepal.

We call on all parties to mutually respect the freedom of peaceful expression and assembly, and individual voters’ rights as laid out in Nepal’s laws and constitution.  We also call on the security forces to exercise restraint and comply with existing national and international standards when carrying out their duties.

The United States remains committed to encouraging a peaceful, inclusive, broadly-supported and credible election process.