The UK is providing around £14 million to support credible, transparent and peaceful Constituent Assembly (CA) elections in Nepal on 19th November 2013. The CA is mandated to draft a new constitution for the country and the elections are extremely important for stability, democracy and development.
The UK is the largest bilateral donor providing financial and technical assistance for the election process. This support has helped produce;
a new electoral roll with photo identities for 12.2 million voters,
designed and printed 29 million ballot papers,
trained election staff members,
and produced voter education materials to be distributed by 15 thousand voter education volunteers across the country.
The UK is providing this assistance because it will help this important election to be credible and transparent. Our support is primarily channelled through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and through a government of Nepal managed fund. Our support has also helped the Election Commission of Nepal to establish a Joint Election Operations Centre to coordinate security and election logistics amongst the various stakeholders, and a state-of-the-art Media and Observation Resource Centre to provide regular updates on election preparations, as well as poll results to the media and public.
Through the Enabling States Programme, DFID has provided approximately £1.5 million to train and deploy 8,000 Nepali observers, and 100 international and regional election observers. The international observers will be deployed through the Carter Centre and regional observers through the Asia Network of Free Elections (ANFREL).
DFID and Embassy staff will also join as EU local short term observers and 4 MPs from the British Parliament will also visit Nepal. Such a large presence of external and internal observers should help ensure a more conducive environment for peaceful elections.
DFID is also training approximately 145 journalists working all over Nepal to cover the elections and 150 women leaders on leadership and campaign skills to promote their representation in the CA.
Approximately £500,000 is being provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to support the journalists on election reporting skills and a campaign working with the youth to promote peaceful elections.