The Department of State alerts westerners traveling to or living in Nepal to the upcoming Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for November 19, 2013. This Travel Alert expires on December 19, 2013.Although most of the major political parties in Nepal are in agreement regarding the upcoming elections, some parties have declined to participate, and have indicated that they may seek to disrupt the election process. Accordingly, despite efforts by the Government of Nepal to ensure security during and in advance of elections, there is an increased risk of violence during “bandhs” strikes that disrupt transportation and commercial activity, as well as at political rallies and demonstrations. The possibility of spontaneous protests during this and any election cycle remains.U.S. citizens in Nepal are strongly urged to avoid demonstrations, political rallies, or large crowds during the election period. In addition, U.S. citizens are advised to exercise caution during any travel taking place during a “bandh” strike. Most vehicular transportation is not permitted during “bandhs” and confrontations between motorists and protesters could occur, especially at major intersections.The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu is closely monitoring election activity throughout Nepal and will provide updates as warranted on the Embassy website and via social media. U.S. citizens should monitor the Embassy website, and the local media. U.S. citizens are advised to be aware of their surroundings and exercise good judgment in the coming weeks. We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Nepal enroll in the Department of States Smart Traveler Enrollment Program STEP. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the nearest U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you dont have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.Regularly monitor the State Departments website where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Nepal. For additional information, refer to “A Safe Trip Abroad” on the State Departments website.Contact U.S. Embassy Kathmandu for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday except U.S. federal holidays. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App, available through iTunes and the Google Play Store to have travel information at your fingertips.The U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu is located in the Maharajgunj neighborhood of Kathmandu and is open Monday – Friday from 8 am – 5 pm, tel. 011 977-1-4007200 if dialing from the United States and 4007200 within Nepal. If you are a U.S. citizen in need of urgent assistance, the after-hours emergency number is 011 977-1-4007266 or 4007269.
via Nepal Travel Alert.