Press Release: Canada Forum for Nepal Congratulates Nepal on a Successful Election

Ottawa, Canada, April 26, 2008: Canada Forum for Nepal (CFFN.ca), a Canada-based organization inspired by the challenges posed to the humanity by the contemporary causes of Nepal, congratulates the people of Nepal for peacefully achieving their goal of ending the monarchy and for electing a Constituent Assembly (CA) to write a democratic constitution.

First agreed to in 1950 but denied for six decades by successive governments, the CA election held on April 10, 2008 was long overdue. After 10 years of armed conflict primarily waged over the issue of the monarchy and the CA, the successful completion of this election has brought relief to everyone concerned about Nepal. The victory of parties and candidates, who were strong proponents of the republic, CA, and plights of the marginalized people, represents hope for inclusion, justice, peace and prosperity in Nepal. CFFN considers this election to represent the successful conclusion of Jana Andolan II.

CFFN congratulates all the political parties that made a series of agreements to advance peace process in Nepal and for bringing the CA election to a successful conclusion. Thanks to proportional representation system, we are about to see a level of inclusion never seen in the past in Nepal. We are encouraged by the fact that the Nepalese people have voted overwhelmingly for a new direction for the country and have brought down political leaders and parties that stood for status quo.

CFFN especially lauds the strong presence of women, Dalits, Janjatis, Madheshis, and other ethnic minorities in the CA through direct election. This is the first time in the history of Nepal that there is such an inclusive assembly of representatives. We laud the work of Nepal Communist Party (Maoist) for being the strongest force in bringing a fundamental shift towards inclusion and we acknowledge that all 7 Dalits, 23 out of 29 women, and majority of Hill Janajatis and Tarai Janajatis directly elected in the assembly are from their party. We sincerely hope that all political parties will follow this good example in the coming days. CFFN is happy to note that a broad based and highly representative CA is in the making.

CFFN also applauds the Election Commission of Nepal for conducting the election successfully and for making the results available online so that people living around the world could see them instantly. CFFN especially recognizes the efforts of the commission, political parties and election observers for helping to ensure that the election process was peaceful and orderly.

The historic responsibility of establishing the republic and crafting a just, equitable, federal and democratic constitution for the new Nepal is now the responsibility of the CA. CFFN urges the winning political parties to honor the aspirations of the people by creating a forward-looking constitution through broad and vigorous debate. Moreover, CFFN urges the newly forming government to uphold democracy, human rights, justice, and reward entrepreneurialism. CFFN further urges the government to focus on public education and information technology infrastructure. In conclusion, on behalf of all the Nepalese living in Canada and Canadians who care for Nepal, CFFN wishes peace, justice, democracy, and progress to the people of Nepal!

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