Constitution of Nepal

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Nepal is governed according to the Constitution of Nepal, which came into effect on September 20, 2015, replacing the Interim Constitution of 2007. The Constitution was drafted by the Second Constituent Assembly following the failure of the First Constituent Assembly to produce a constitution in its mandated period.[1]

Nepal Constituent Assembly[edit]

Abhaya Subba in local protest program.jpg

The Interim Constitution provides for a Constituent Assembly, which was charged with writing Nepal's permanent constitution. Under the terms of the Interim Constitution, the new constitution was to be promulgated by May 28, 2010, but the Constituent Assembly postponed the promulgation by a year because of disagreements. On May 25, 2011, the Supreme Court of Nepal ruled that the 2010 extension of the Interim Constitution was not right. Since May 29, 2011 the Constituent Assembly repeatedly extended the Interim Constitution.

On May 28, 2012, the Constituent Assembly was dissolved after it failed to finish the constitution after the latest extension, ending four years of constitution drafting and leaving the country in a legal vacuum.[2][3] New elections were held on November 19, 2013 to the Second Nepalese Constituent Assembly and political leaders pledged to draft a new constitution within a year.[4][dated info]. The new assembly expressly committed that the new constitution would be promulgated on January 22, 2015. However, due to continued differences on key issues including system of governance, judicial system and federation issues like number, name and areas of the states to be carved, the constitution could not be finalized and promulgated in time.

Previous Constitutions[edit]

Previous constitutions of Nepal were enacted in 1948, 1951, 1959, 1962, 1990 and 2007.[5]

In 1948, the Government of Nepal Act was enacted. Since the mid-nineteenth century, the country had been a monarchy where the prime ministers, from the Rana dynasty, had sweeping control over the affairs of the state.[6] The 1948 document introduced limited democratic elements, but the experiment was not successful due to the misgivings of the Rana rulers to give away power.[7]

The Interim Government of Nepal Act 1951 was promulgated after the Revolution of 1951 that the end of the Rana period.[8] This text strengthened the authority of the king, and introduced relevant reforms such as the creation of the Supreme Court and the inclusion of fundamental rights and socio-economic goals to be pursued by the state.[9]

The CONSTITUTION OF THE KINDOM OF NEPAL, 1959 followed the previously mentioned interim text. Interestingly, despite the establishment of a bicameral parliament, the king continued to hold important powers such as the prerogative to appoint half of the members of the Senate and the suspension of parliament under certain circumstances.[10]

The democratic experiment was short-lived, as in 1962 a new constitution came in to eliminate political parties, and to introduce the so-called panchayat system. In this model, panchayats were councils organized at the local level, presumably to ensure the representation of citizens. However, the king exercised much stronger authority than in the 1959 regime. and could modify the constitution or suspend it in case of emergency.[11]

In 1990, the first Jana Andolan, Popular Revolt, brought multi-party democracy back to Nepal. The CONSTITUTION. OF THE KINGDOM OF NEPAL(1990) lifted the ban on political parties, described a democratic representative system where the authority of the king was curtailed, and enshrined fundamental rights.[12] Although the 1990 constitution substantially increased the democratic character of the state in comparison with the Panchayat Regime, critiques have argued that this text did not adequately represent all sectors of society, even though Nepal is a multi-cultural country where diverse social groups coexist [13]

Again following the second janaandolan an interim constitution was promulgated in 2005.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Time Magazine "Nepal Has Finally Passed a New Constitution After Years of Political Turmoil". Retrieved September 2015. 
  2. ^ CA dissolved after epic failure
  3. ^ BBC: Nepal enters crisis mode as constitution talks fail
  4. ^ "Nepal takes step towards new constitution. Political leaders had pledged to draw up constitution within a year as new parliament convenes.". Al Jazeera. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 24 January 2014. 
  5. ^ International Constitutional Law -- Nepal
  7. ^;
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Krishna Hacchethu, The Second Transformation of Nepali Political Parties, in NEPAL: NEW FRONTIERS OF RESTRUCTURING OF STATE 125 (Lok Raj Baral ed., 2008); Tulsi Ram Pandey, Social Change and Political Participation, in NEPAL: QUEST FOR PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY 90 (Lok Raj Baral ed., 2006).
  13. ^ Mahendra Lawoti, Constitution as Sources of Exclusion: An Overview of the 1990 Constitution, in DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTION MAKING: EXPERIENCES FROM NEPAL, KENYA, SOUTH AFRICA AND SRI LANKA 11 (Hari P. Bhattarai & Jhalak Subedi eds., 2007)

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]