News

Former US President Carter Believes Serious Violence Not Derailing Nepal Election

The most prominent international observer for Thursday's election in Nepal, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, has told VOA News that incidents of "serious" violence, including seven deaths, do not appear to be derailing the country's commitment to carry out the long-delayed vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kathmandu.

Assassinations and abductions of candidates, rioting, bomb blasts and fatal shootings of Maoists by police are some of the violent incidents Nepal confronted in the hours before polls opened nationwide.

The election to choose an assembly, that is expected to write a constitution formalizing Nepal as a republic, has put the international spotlight on the small and impoverished Himalayan country.

Among those credentialed as election observers is former U.S. President Jimmy Carter.  He tells VOA News the violence will likely not derail Nepal's strong desire to successfully conduct the balloting.

"We are quite confident that despite some of these disturbances that have been serious that the overall commitment is very deep and [the election] will be successful," he said.

The former president's non-profit Carter Center has been active here for the past five years, at the invitation of Nepal's government and the political parties, helping Nepal prepare for the twice-delayed election.

Mr. Carter is to visit numerous polling stations in the capital on Thursday.  He says any serious violations he or the other Carter Center observers witness or hear of will be reported promptly.

"My first move would be to go to the election commission," he added.  "They have assured us that we will be welcome at any time to make our request or to explain our questions or to take action if there is a defect that needs to be corrected."

In addition to the 850 observers from outside Nepal, the country's non-governmental organizations are deploying 60,000 Nepalese observers.

Leaders of all the major parties have predicted victory, including the Maoists who waged a 10-year war against the state with the goal of ending the monarchy.

The once autocratic King Gyanendra, now stripped of power, issued a rare statement.  The unpopular sovereign urged all those eligible to exercise their "democratic right in a free and fair environment."

The king, once revered as a Hindu god, is not among those heading to the polls, which are another step in deciding the fate of the 250-year-old royal dynasty.  The royal family has been deemed ineligible to vote.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs