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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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Massive fire guts property worth millions in Itahari

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ITAHARI- Goods, raw materials and equipments worth over Rs 20 million were gutted when a fire broke out at the Laxmi Foam Industry at Khanar of Itahari Sub-metropolitan City-10 in Sunsari district this morning.

It is said the fire suddenly broke out from the warehouse area of the industry where the ready-made goods are stored. Police have speculated that the fire started at 4 am when the industry had already closed and there were no workers inside.

The industry is owned by Bhanu Tibadewala. According the Shankar Thakur, the manager at the industry, the raw materials of doormat and important machinery at the industry have also been damaged in the inferno.

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Nepal Army, the Armed Police Force and the Nepal Police personnel as well as the Itahari fire brigade made attempts to douse the fire after some time it started.

Fire trucks from Dharan, Inaruwa, Biratnagar, Duhabi and Sundarharaincha were immediately called into service thereby bringing the huge inferno under control and preventing further damage, said Shiva Kumar Shrestha, Deputy Superintendent of Police at the Area Police Office Itahari.

He said the cause of the fire is not yet ascertained and the extent of damage is being assessed.

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