A European Union (EU) mission has asked Nepal to not allocate Proportional Representation seats for the Khas-Arya community, arguing that it is already well-represented and does not need reservation.

Unveiling its final report on the three tiers of polls that Nepal held last year, the European Union Election Mission presented its final report on Tuesday in Kathmandu saying a quota for a well-represented community is against international principles of equality. The mission said that affirmative action should be taken only in reserving quotas for under-represented communities.

Nepal’s new Constitution has guaranteed the higher caste Khas-Arya people’s representation in proportion to their population. Election laws therefore require political parties to ensure representation of at least 31.2% Khas-Arya in Parliament.

There was angry reaction in social media to the EU statement from politicians and intellectuals belonging to the Khas-Arya cluster, while others agreed that the group did not need affirmative action. Unofficial translations of some Twitter posts in Nepali:

Heard that a foreign mission issued a condemnable diktat against ‘reservation’ for a certain caste groups in Nepal! The Constitution written by the Nepali people does not include the word ‘reservation’, it just states ‘proportional inclusive reservation’, which is what it should be. If you cannot tell sugar from bullshit, you better shut up. Baburam Bhattarai, Ex-Prime Minister
The EU statement against the constitutional rights of the Khas-Arya to reservation is unwarranted, unnecessary, unsuitable and interventionist. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs must caution the EU against planting the seeds of dispute and dividing up the Nepali people. Kamal Thapa, Ex-Foreign Affairs Minister
What the EU must understand is our constitutional provision for Khas-Arya does not reserve seats for them but actually aims to limit their participation because they were dominant in the past. Ram Saran Mahat, Ex-Finance Minister
The comment of the EU Election Observation Mission on Nepal’s election system, Election Commission and inclusive structure is an attempt to intervene in Nepal’s internal affairs and against diplomatic norms. It should be refuted and opposed by the government. Bhim Rawal, UML leader
Foreigners were anxious that Nepal might apply to graduate from the bloc of Least Developed Countries. Nepal did not, so they are now happy that they can lecture us for another six years. Rameshore Khanal, Ex-Secretary
The EU’s statement on the Khas-Arya is unfortunate. It might severely harm communal harmony and ethnic unity in Nepal. It also calls into question the EU’s intention. The EU must withdraw its statement.   Yogesh Bhattarai, Member of Parliament
For your information, UN Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand has instructed her administration to not hire anyone belonging to Khas-Arya caste groups. She is obsessed with inquiring about her employees’ castes. Ethnicity politics thrives when the State becomes weak.   Kiran Chapagain, Chevening scholar
The ruling castes have enjoyed reservation for 250 years. And this caste system has now been legitimised by the new Constitution. They will not tolerate any criticism. Vijay Kant Karna
Nepal can never be an inclusive state if quotas are reserved for Khas-Arya people, who anyway grab 80% seats through direct elections. Regardless of what the EU says, if Nepal is to be made inclusive, the Khas-Arya should not be given quotas in the next elections. Pradip Pariyar, Nepal Policy Centre
A simple advice by the EU about Nepal’s constitutional provisions for inclusion gives sleepless nights to influential Gyawalis, Bhattarais, Bhurtels, Kaji Thapas, Mahats and Ghimires. Other people do not care much. Why? Narayan Sindhuliya, researcher
Can those who have dubbed the EU report an act of intervention introduce and implement a policy to not accept projects directly related to the Executive, the Legislative and the Judiciary? Common people will be waiting for that day, instead of populist words? Bhaskar Gautam, researcher
Laws were drafted in the name of proportional inclusion to reserve quotas for Khas-Arya. As a result, their share in Parliament is double their actual population. This constitutional provision will now be used to reserve quotas for Khas-Arya in government services. Badri Narayan Jha, Engineer

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