Elections in Nepal

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There are three types of elections in Nepal: elections to the House of Representatives, elections to the provincial assemblies and elections to the local government. Within each of these categories there may be by-elections as well as general elections. Currently two electoral systems are used: parallel voting for legislative and provincial assemblies and first past the post for local elections.

Election Commission[edit]

According to Article 245 of the Constitution of Nepal 2015, an Election Commission is formed consisting of a Chief Election Commissioner, who serves as the chairperson of the Election Commission, and four other Election Commissioners. They serve one term of six years and are appointed by the President of Nepal on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. The Chief Election Commissioners and other Election Commissioners must hold a Bachelor's Degree from a recognized university, must not belong to a political party immediately before their appointment, must have attained the age of forty-five and must possess high moral character. The position of Chief Election Commissioner or Election Commissioner will be deemed vacant if: he/she submits a written resignation to the President of Nepal, attains the age of sixty-five, a resolution of impeachment is passed against him/her, he/she is removed by the President of Nepal on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council for being unable to discharge the duties of her/his office due to physical or mental illness or if he/she dies.[1]

As per Article 246 of the Constitution of Nepal 2015, the Election Commission exercises the following functions, duties and powers[1]:

  • The Election Commission shall, subject to this Constitution and other laws, conduct, supervise, direct and control the election of the President, the Vice-President, Federal Parliament, Provincial assemblies, local bodies. The Election Commission shall be responsible for preparing the voters’ list for the purpose of election.
  • The Election Commission shall hold referendum on subject of national importance as per this Constitution and Federal laws.
  • If candidacy nominations have been registered for the election of the President, the Vice-President, the member of Federal Parliament and Provincial Assembly but a question arises before the completion of the election about the illegitimacy of a candidate, a final decision thereon shall be made by the Election Commission.
  • The Election Commission may delegate any of its functions, duties and powers to the Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commissioner or any employee of the Government of Nepal to be exercised and followed in compliance with the conditions specified.
  • Other functions, duties and powers and working procedures of the Election Commission shall be as regulated by law.

Legislative elections[edit]

According to Article 84 of the Constitution of Nepal 2015, following the dissolution of parliament all the Members of Parliament forming the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament of Nepal are elected. The term for the House of Representatives is five years, except when dissolved earlier. When the House of Representatives is dissolved the power of Federal Parliament is carried out by the National Assembly.[1]

Candidates for each constituency are chosen by the political parties or stand as independents. Each constituency elects one MP under the first past the post system of election. Since Nepal uses a parallel voting system, voters cast another ballot to elect MPs through the party-list proportional representation. The current constitution specifies that 165 MPs are elected from the first past the post system and 110 MPs are elected through the party-list proportional representation system. Women should account for one third of total members elected from each party and if one-third percentage are not elected, the party that fails to ensure so shall have to elect one-third of total number as women through the party-list proportional representation.[1]

A party with an overall majority (more seats than all other parties combined) following an election forms the government. If a party has no outright majority, parties can seek to form coalitions.

Year Date Elected members Nominated members Constituencies
Nepalese legislative election, 1959 18 February 1959 109 0 109
Nepalese Rastriya Panchayat election, 1971 1971 109 16 109
Nepalese Rastriya Panchayat election, 1981 9 May 1981 112 28 112
Nepalese legislative election, 1986 12 May 1986 112 28 112
Nepalese legislative election, 1991 12 May 1991 205 0 205
Nepalese legislative election, 1994 15 November 1994 205 0 205
Nepalese legislative election, 1999 3 & 17 May 1999 205 0 205
Nepalese Constituent Assembly election, 2008 10 April 2008 575 26 240
Nepalese Constituent Assembly election, 2013 19 November 2013 575 26 240

Provincial assembly elections[edit]

According to Article 176 of the Constitution of Nepal 2015, following the dissolution of the provincial assembly all the members forming the Provincial Assembly are elected. The term for the Provincial Assembly is five years, except when dissolved earlier.[1]

Candidates for each constituency are chosen by the political parties or stand as independents. Each constituency elects one member under the first past the post system of election. Since Nepal uses a parallel voting system, voters cast another ballot to elect members through the party-list proportional representation. The current constitution specifies that sixty percent of the members should be elected from the first past the post system and forty percent through the party-list proportional representation system. Women should account for one third of total members elected from each party and if one-third percentage are not elected, the party that fails to ensure so shall have to elect one-third of total number as women through the party-list proportional representation.[1]

A party with an overall majority (more seats than all other parties combined) following an election forms the government. If a party has no outright majority, parties can seek to form coalitions.

The first provincial assembly elections in Nepal are expected to be held before the end of 2018.[2]

Local elections[edit]

In local elections, six members are elected forming the local administration of Nepal. Elections are held for municipal assemblies in municipalities and for village assemblies in rural municipalities. The assembly comprises of a Mayor (Head in the case of village assemblies) and Deputy Mayor (Deputy Head in village assemblies) as well as a ward chairman and members from every ward of the municipality. Two ward members must be female, one of whom must belong to the dalit community or a minority group. All elections are held on the basis of first past the post system.[1] The most recent local elections were held in 2017.[3]

History[edit]

The constitution of 1990 had a provision for a bicameral parliament, The House of Representatives (lower house) and the National Assembly (upper house). The 205 MPs in the House of Representatives were elected for a five-year term in single-seat constituencies. The National Assembly had 60 MPs, 35 elected by the House of Representatives, 15 from Regional Development Areas and 10 appointed by the monarch.

After the Nepalese Civil War, a Constituent Assembly was formed to draft a new constitution. The Constituent Assembly of Nepal consisted on 601 members, 26 of which were appointed by the President of Nepal, 240 of which were elected using first past the post system in single seat constituencies and 335 of which were elected using party-list proportional representation system.[4][5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Constitute". www.constituteproject.org. Retrieved 2017-06-24. 
  2. ^ The Associated Press (2017-06-06). "Nepal’s Parliament Makes Veteran Politician a Four-Time Prime Minister". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  3. ^ "Nepal set to hold local elections on June 28". Gulf-Times (in Arabic). 2017-06-26. Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
  4. ^ Lokhandwala, Zainab (5 January 2014). "Nepal: The Long Road Ahead - Fair Observer". Fair Observer. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "Election to the Members of Constituent Assembly Act, 2064 (2007)". Nepal Law Commission. Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015. 

External links[edit]