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EU deploys Election Observation Mission to Nepal

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KATHMANDU — The European Union has deployed an Election Observation Mission to Nepal, on invitation of Government of Nepal, to observe the upcoming House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies elections scheduled for November 36 and December 7.

Issuing a press statement, EU said it had deployed EOM to Nepal in 2008 and 2013, reflecting it’s long-term commitment to supporting credible, transparent and inclusive elections in the nation.

According to a statement, vice president of the European Commission Federica Mogherini, who is also the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has appointed European Parliament’s member Željana Zovko as the chief observer.

The EOM’s core team of 10 EU election analysts had arrived in Nepal on October 25 and will stay in the country until the completion of the electoral process.

The EU said in a statement that the core team, which will be joined by 38 long-term observers, will also prepare a comprehensive final report.

“Earlier this year, we witnessed the first local elections in Nepal in 20 years. The upcoming elections for the House of Representatives and provincial assemblies will be another important moment for the country and crucial for completing the constitutional transition process. Through our EOM, under the leadership of Chief Observer Ms Zelijana Zovko, the EU will provide an important contribution to this electoral process,” Mogherini said.

The diplomatic mission also said that it’s looking forward to cooperating with other international and domestic observation missions during the elections.

“Twenty short-term observers will be deployed on November 20 for the first phase of the elections scheduled for November 26, while an additional 24 short-term observers will be deployed on December 1 for the second phase of the elections on December 7,” said the statement.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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