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EU poll observation report misleading and baseless : EC

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KATHMANDU — The Election Commission on Thursday has said that the European Union Election Observation Mission (EUEOM)’s report on the recently held elections of the House of Representatives and Provincial Assemblies was misleading and baseless and it ‘totally rejects’ the report.

Terming the report and a press statement issued by the poll observation group as ‘misleading’, ‘baseless’ and ‘in contravention of the international poll observation code of conduct’, the election body, three days after EUEOM released the report, said it has breached the poll observation code of conduct meant for international poll observers and the MoU signed with the EC.

Issuing a press statement, the EC stated,”The report and the press statement released by the organization is totally unacceptable because it has violated the international election observation code of conduct. The report does not carry any truth regarding the peacefully held elections, the results of which have been accepted by all the voters, political parties, candidates and concerned stake holders.”

Furthermore, EC in its straightforward statement signed by Deputy Spokesperson Mukunda Sharma, said that so far, it has been facilitating international organizations to observe elections comfortably but it would be extra cautious while issuing such permissions henceforth.

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EUEOM, in its report, has accused EC of not maintaining transparency while conducting the elections. The poll observation team has suggested to the election body to ‘enhance the transparency of the EC through regular consultations with stakeholders and timely publication of all information of public interest’.

The mission had further stated that the election body’s work lacked transparency although it performed its duties impartially and enjoyed public confidence.

“There was, for example, no mechanism for regular consultations with election stakeholders, and the EC failed to publish critical information on polling center turnout and invalid votes,” the report stated,

Earlier, on Wednesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) also had issued a statement regarding the report released by EU saying it had directly challenged the elections held as per the norms of constitution.

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World mourns death of Kofi Annan

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GENEVA — Leaders across the world expressed their condolences following the death of Former UN Secretary General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kofi Annan. World leaders praised Annan’s contributions and expressed their admiration for the long-time UN statesman.

Annan, one of the world’s most celebrated diplomats and a charismatic symbol of the UN who rose through its ranks to become its first black African secretary-general, died on Saturday morning in Bern, Switzerland

Antonio Guterres, the current UN chief, described his predecessor as “a guiding force for good.”

“In many ways, Kofi Annan was the United Nations…He rose through the ranks to lead the organization into the new millennium with matchless dignity and determination,” Guterres said.

The United Nations has lowered its flags to half-mast. At UN headquarters in New York, the UN flags flew at half-mast and a bouquet of flowers was placed under Mr Annan’s portrait.

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Tributes flowed in from around the world after his foundation announced his death in the Swiss capital, Bern, after a short and unspecified illness.

The statement remembered the Nobel Peace Prize winner as “radiating genuine kindness, warmth and brilliance in all he did”.

Annan had served two terms as UN secretary-general in New York from 1997-2006, retired in Geneva and later lived in a Swiss village in the nearby countryside.

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