Martin calls on all to shun violence : Nepal CA Poll Concern II


The chief of United Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) Ian Martin has said that there has been too much violence in the run up to the election.

Chief of United Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) Ian Martin.
Chief of United Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) Ian Martin)

“There should be no more violence in this campaign or on polling day,” he said speaking at a programme in Pokhara, Monday.

“I am conscious that here in the Western region, I am in the region where deaths occurred in Arghakhanchi and Kapilvastu of Maoist cadres. I am dismayed to learn now of the killing yesterday of an RJP worker in Dhankuta district. I strongly support the Election Commission’s protest regarding the violence that injured an election official in Dhading three days ago. I regret that the efforts to bring about dialogue with armed groups in the Terai have not been successful,” he said.

Martin added that he does not believe that any last minute efforts that disrupt this poll will be successful. “I appeal to those armed groups not to continue with violence, strikes or other efforts to disrupt the election,” he said.

“If at the end of the day groups don’t respect the rights of others then it will be the responsibility of the security forces to take action against acts of violence and to ensure that the efforts to disrupt the election are not successful. And again, as I have emphasized before, those groups will lose any sympathy for their cause, on the part of the international community, if they continue to engage in acts of violence and seek to disrupt the election,” he said.

He also reacted against ‘rumors’ about the infringement of the secrecy of voting. “There are rumors going around that there can be efforts to determine how individuals have voted on polling day, and I want to support the Election Commission in refuting those rumors and emphasizing that this will be a secret ballot. It will not even be possible to know how a particular VDC has voted, because the ballots from different VDCs will be mixed in the count. So I hope that all voters will cast their ballots as they wish without regard to violence or intimidation or inducement of any kind.”

Responding to queries on the possibility of army deployment, he said, “In the discussions that I have had with CDOs (Chief District Officers), representatives of the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force, they are satisfied that they have appropriate security arrangements in place. And under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a decision to mobilize the Nepal Army would require agreement amongst the parties to the CPA.” Adapted from sd Apr 07 08

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