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Govt draws EU’s attention over controversial remarks on recent elections

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KATHMANDU — The Government of Nepal has drawn its attention to European Union over controversial remarks made by EU’s Election Observation Mission (EUEOM) in its final report on the House of Representatives and State Assembly elections.

Issuing a press statement on Wednesday, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the recommendations and comments made by the EUEOM directly challenged the provision of the Constitution of Nepal.

The EUEOM has suggested the government to exclude Khas/Arya from the ‘quota system’ in its report submitted to the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday.

It said the quota system should exclude groups that are already well-represented, hinting at the arrangement made for the Khas/Aarya group to ensure that their representation is also equal to their population.

“This is arguably in contravention of international standards on equality, as affirmative action measures are foreseen only as a means to promote equality,” said the report.

Chief Observer of the EUEOM Zelijana Zovko, also a member of the European Parliament, had presented final report with 29 proposals for electoral process reform to the government, Election Commission, political parties, observers and civil society organisations.

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Some of the recommendations and comments of the Report not only undermine the successful holding of smooth, peaceful and impartial elections but also go against the scope and norms of international election observation, the MoFA said in the statement.

The Ministry further said that the report has also violated the Election Code of Conduct for International Observers of the Election Commission of Nepal.

The government had held three tiers of elections for the implementation of the Constitution as well as conclusion of Nepal’s peace process as mentioned in the statement.

Meanwhile, the Government of Nepal has called upon all its concerned stakeholders to refrain from making such uncalled for comments.

Likewise, political leaders have also expressed thier disssatisfaction over the report.

Reacting strongly to the suggestion, former Prime Minister and coordinator of Naya Shakti Nepal Party, Baburam Bhattarai vented his ire who said in his Twitter post that the EU Mission failed to understand even basics of Nepal’s constitution.

Similarly, ruling CPN-UML Secretary Yogesh Bhattarai also strongly criticized the EU’s suggestion. “The comment of the EU on Khas/Aaya is unfortunate. This could seriously undermine the growing ethnic unity and communal harmony in Nepali society. This could even raise questions on the intention of the EU itself. It is better EU retracted this conclusion,” Bhattarai said in his tweets.

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Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Chairman Kamal Thapa termed the suggestion ‘unnecessary’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘unwarranted’, and “interventionist”.

Likewise, former Foreign Secretary and Nepali ambassador to Nepal’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York Madu Raman Acharya said, “EU Election Observation Team has no business to suggest changes that require amendment of Nepal’s constitution against the principle of proportional representation! Period!”

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Journalists’ code of ethics on use of social networking sites stressed

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KATHMANDU- Code of ethics on the use of social networking sites for journalists has been stressed.

The speakers at a programme argued that code of ethics for journalists on use of social sites is needed as their status on social sites could raise credibility questions on the news contents.

On the occasion, FNJ Vice-Chairman Bipul Pokharel and FNJ Secretary Prakash Thapa shared that FNJ is drafting the code of conducts targeting the members of FNJ.

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Likewise, coordinator of digital media committee of FNJ and central committee member Lekhnath Neupane reasoned the need for such code of ethics to make the entire media sector more responsible and decent.

Executive Director of Centre for Media Research Centre Ujjawal Acharya, Chairman of Online Journalists’ Association Shiva Satyal and FNJ central committee member
Janmadev Jaisi also expressed their opinions at the interaction programme on ‘Use of social networking site and development of code of ethics for journalists’ organized by Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) and Centre for Media Research on Saturday.

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