Dispute Resolution and Observation Workshop in Nepal
18 April 2012
Electoral Dispute Resolution and Electoral Observation in any election are very crucial to handle and manage. Both are very important because observation always monitor the integrity of the electoral process and thereby assess the credibility of process whereas EDR ultimately safeguards the integrity and credibility of the process.Both cases are heavily depending on the process and there is always a debate and questions whether the process are democratically adopted or not? To make a good understanding among the key stakeholders on these issues, an interactive discussion and sharing is required and thereby it can explore the appropriate way out to make common understanding at all level of issues.
As per address the needs on EDR and Observation, a three-day workshop on Electoral Dispute Resolution and Electoral Observation was conducted at Hotel Manaki in Janakpurdham from 10 – 12 April 2012. The workshop was jointly organized by the Election Commission of Nepal with the financial support of International IDEA and the workshop was technically managed by the BRIDGE office, Nepal together with the Legal Department/ Training Division of ECN.
Objectives of the workshop:
The workshop aimed at analyzing existing EDR practices and observation Systems and their implications in the diverse situation around the world and particularly in Nepal.
However, the specific objectives of the workshop were as follows:
• to introduce the concepts and principles of electoral dispute resolution and electoral observation,
• to provide a global comparative information on electoral dispute resolution and electoral observation, and
• to share the draft of Nepal’s electoral dispute resolution system and collect the ideas and feedbacks on the same.
Content outline of the workshop:
The content of the workshop was customized to address the current needs of the Nepal’s situation particularly in the eastern mid Terai of Nepal. At a nutshell, the content was divided into three major thematic areas:
Electoral Dispute Resolution
• Introduction to electoral justice concepts
• Disputable matters
• Prevention of electoral disputes
• Various models of EDR mechanisms
• Alternative EDR mechanisms Nepal EDR System
• Current EDR systems in Nepal
• EDR reform draft presentation
• Collection of feedback and suggestions on the draft
• Why have electoral observers?
• Electoral integrity and concept mapping
• Ethics and integrity exploration
• Who are the electoral observers?
• Role of election Observers
The workshop was primarily focused to the civil society people who are representing the eastern mid Terai where most of the disputable cases were appeared in the last constituent assembly election 2008. We have covered 10 districts of that region including 8 female and 15 male participants from different civil society and the government organizations.
Opening and closing
The workshop was inaugurated by the Election Commissioner Dr. Ayodhi Prasda Yadav. In his opening remarks, he acknowledged that the problems exist in the electoral process in Nepal is a matter of concern. To monitor and handle the electoral disputes effectively and efficiently, it requires a permanent mechanism. He further opined that electoral dispute is natural phenomenon all over the world but to resolve it is a real challenge. He hoped that the workshop will be able to discuss in each aspects of the electoral disputes and electoral observation issues. The Joint Secretary of Election Commission Mr. Sharada Prasad Trital and Mr. Madhu Prasad Regmi was highlighted the workshop objectives and welcome all expecting their active and productive participation. In the same occasion, the head of mission Leena Rikkila Tamang from International IDEA also expressed a good hope for the success of workshop and be able to achieve the entire objectives of the workshop.
During the closing ceremony, the Election Commissioner Dr. Ayodhi Prasda Yadav presented certificate to the participants and extended vote of thanks to all for their active participation.
A team of following senior BRIDGE Facilitators involved in the workshop:
1. Mr. Sharada Prasad Trital
2. Mr. Madhu Prasad Regmi
3. Ms Radhika Regmi
4. Mr. Shanti Ram Bimali