Upcoming Constituent Assembly polls vital for Nepals peace process UN told

The first Constituent Assembly, elected in 2008, was unable to complete the drafting of a new constitution before it was dissolved in May 2012. Earlier this year, the country’s chief justice was appointed to head the Government that will oversee the holding of the elections, ending a political stalemate that began late last year.Nepal has been plagued by political disputes since a civil war between Government forces and Maoists formally ended in 2007 and the monarchy was abolished.“There is no alternative to elections to revitalize the democratic process and ensure political stability,” Khil Raj Regmi, Chairman of the Council of Ministers, said in his address to the General Assembly’s high-level general debate, adding that the preparations have been made to hold the polls on 19 November. “The election will provide the mandate of the people for writing a constitution, advance civil and political rights, ensure people’s sovereignty in decision-making in state affairs and institutionalize multi-party democracy, federalism and republicanism,” he said. “It will be instrumental in completing the remaining task of the peace process.”Mr. Regmi said the settlement of political issues through the democratic process will ensure political stability and eventually open up prospects for broad-based economic development, something to which the people of Nepal have long aspired. He thanked the international community for the “moral and material support” made available for the elections. “It is my hope and belief that, with the continuing understanding, support and assistance from all friends of Nepal, we will be able to go beyond the protracted political transition and focus on the consolidation of political accomplishments made so far, further democratization of the country, and economic development.”The UN has closely supported Nepal’s peace process, having had a political mission in the country from 2007 until 2011, following the signing of the peace accords that ended the decade-long armed conflict between the Government and the Maoist opposition.