KATHMANDU: The EU today said the historic elections in Nepal recently were a milestone in the implementation of the country's new Constitution.
But the report by the EU Election Observation Mission (EU-EOM) also criticised Nepal's election commission for lacking transparency and failing to publish critical information on polling centre turnout and invalid votes.
In its final report on Nepal's house of representatives and provincial assembly elections, Zeljana Zovko, Chief Observer of the EU-EOM, said, "Although the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN) performed its duties impartially, enjoying public confidence, its work lacked transparency".
Zovko, however, lauded the election process saying that the November 26 and December 7 elections represented a key milestone in the implementation of the 2015 Constitution, with the legal framework providing a good basis for the conduct of the elections.
She said political freedoms including the right to vote prevailed during the election campaign, despite a serious of violent attacks against candidates.
The EU-EOM has submitted its final report along with 29 recommendations stressing that the first-past-the-post constituency boundaries be reviewed to ensure more equal suffrage, laws to be enforced in order to stop vote-buying and the election commission's transparency be enhanced.
The representatives from EU-EOM were present in Nepal between October and January, following invitations from the Nepal government and the election commission.
The EU mission had deployed over 100 observers from all 28 EU member states, as well as Norway and Switzerland.
It assessed the extent to which the electoral process complied with international and regional commitments for elections, as well as with the laws of Nepal.