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Nepal (Elections)

Volume 569: debated on Wednesday 23 October 2013

Our budget of £14 million for Nepal’s elections will cover items such as £5 million to the United Nations Development Programme for the electoral roll, £8 million to the Election Commission of Nepal for the administrative costs of the election itself, and a further £1 million to cover independent observers.

I thank the Minister for his answer. Given that so many years have passed since an election last took place in Nepal, is he confident that the assistance he is providing will contribute to a successful outcome?

I know that my hon. Friend has in his constituency a Nepali community to which he pays a great deal of attention. Nepal has faced a bit of a logjam for a number of years, in that it has needed elections to approve a constitution and a constitution to approve elections. We hope that the November elections will take place with full participation and no violence.

What work is the Department doing to stop any violence between competing parties in the November elections?

The UK is at the forefront of engaging with politicians of all parties in Nepal. My right hon. Friends in the Foreign Office and we in the Department for International Development visit them regularly and have urged all of them to participate. When I visited in April, I was very robust in urging some of the smaller Maoist parties to participate when at the time they were minded not to do so.