Voters in Nepal went to the polls to elect a Constituent Assembly. After nearly a decade since the last general election and more than half a century of demanding the opportunity to elect representatives to draft a constitution, the voters have spoken.
Despite pre-election violence and intimidation and the murder of candidates and party workers, only a small percentage of polling stations will require re-polling. Overwhelmingly across the country, men and women were able to cast their ballots in a peaceful and orderly way. Here is U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack:
“At first glance, it would appear that Nepal has taken a real step forward here. But, we all know that democracy doesn’t end on election day. That’s only the start of it. It’s important to govern in a democratic manner once you’ve won the election and govern on behalf of the people who elected you and even those who voted against you as well.”
In November 2006, a peace agreement between the Maoists and an alliance of Nepal’s seven major political parties established an interim government and interim constitution. That constitution provided for the April 10th Constituent Assembly election. When the final results of the election are determined, it will be the task of the Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution for Nepal.
The United States congratulates the people of Nepal on an historic achievement. The election is a tribute to their courage and the conduct of the Election Commission.
In the days and weeks to come as the votes are counted, the U.S. urges patience and respect for the results. For its part, the United States stands ready to assist the people of Nepal in their pursuit of a more peaceful, democratic, and prosperous future.