Comments on the Final Report of the EU Election Observation Mission (March 20, 2018)

The report of the EU Election Observation Mission on Nepal's House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections released yesterday must be appreciated for its insights into the potential of electoral reforms in Nepal.

Some of the stuff included in 29 proposals for reform sound not only weird, because they go against the standard norms of election monitoring, but also bespeak of outright ignorance of the provisions of the Constitution of Nepal, 2015.

The recommendation of the Observation Mission for the review of the "quota system" and ensuring that measures of affirmative action apply only to groups that are the subject of negative discrimination is uncalled for. Generally, the Constitution of Nepal, except in the case of women, is not based on any quota considerations. The system of "proportional representation" and "inclusion" that is being implemented in Nepal is different than what is being understood as a "quota system." There is no logic in the temptation of the Observer Mission to see the quota system in place in Nepal.

Moreover, the recommendation for the review of Nepal's first-past-the-post constituency boundaries is without justification. This is a very political statement. There are many delicate issues involved, and the European Union, or for that matter, the ill-advised Observer Mission, is certainly not an informed forum to comment on this.