Politics of Nepal
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politics and government of
The politics of Nepal function within a framework of a republic with a multi-party system. Currently, the position of President (head of state) is occupied by Dr. Ram Baran Yadav. The position of Prime Minister (head of government) is held by Sushil Koirala. Executive power is exercised by the Prime Minister and his cabinet, while legislative power is vested in the Constituent Assembly.
- 1 Political conditions
- 2 Legislative branch
- 3 Judicial branch
- 4 International organization participation
- 5 See also
- 6 Further reading
- 7 References
- 8 External links
2001: Royal massacre
On June 1, 2001, Crown Prince Dipendra was officially reported to have shot and killed his father, King Birendra; his mother, Queen Aishwarya; his brother; his sister, his father's younger brother, Prince Dhirendra; and several aunts, before turning the gun on himself. Although he never regained consciousness before dying, Crown Prince Dipendra was nonetheless the king under the law of Nepalese royal succession. After his death two days later, the late King's surviving brother Gyanendra was proclaimed king.
2005–2007: Suspension of parliament and Loktantra Andolan
On 1 February 2005 King Gyanendra suspended the Parliament, appointed a government led by himself, and enforced martial law. The King argued that civil politicians were unfit to handle the Maoist insurgency. Telephone lines were cut and several high-profile political leaders were detained. Other opposition leaders fled to India and regrouped there. A broad coalition called the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) was formed in opposition to the royal takeover, encompassing the seven parliamentary parties who held about 90% of the seats in the old, dissolved parliament.
On 22 November 2005, the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) of parliamentary parties and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) agreed on a historic and unprecedented 12-point memorandum of understanding (MOU) for peace and democracy. Nepalese from various walks of life and the international community regarded the MOU as an appropriate political response to the crisis that was developing in Nepal. Against the backdrop of the historical sufferings of the Nepalese people and the enormous human cost of the last ten years of violent conflict, the MOU, which proposes a peaceful transition through an elected constituent assembly, created an acceptable formula for a united movement for democracy. As per the 12-point MOU, the SPA called for a protest movement, and the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) supported it. This led to a countrywide uprising called the Loktantra Andolan that started in April 2006. All political forces including civil society and professional organizations actively galvanized the people. This resulted in massive and spontaneous demonstrations and rallies held across Nepal against King Gyanendra's autocratic rule.
The people's participation was so broad, momentous and pervasive that the king feared being overthrown. On 21 April 2006, King Gyanendra declared that "power would be returned to the people". This had little effect on the people, who continued to occupy the streets of Kathmandu and other towns, openly defying the daytime curfew. Finally King Gyanendra announced the reinstatement the House of Representatives, thereby conceding one of the major demands of the SPA, at midnight on 24 April 2006. Following this action the coalition of political forces decided to call off the protests.
Twenty-one people died and thousands were injured during the 19 days of protests.
On 19 May 2006, the parliament assumed total legislative power and gave executive power to the Government of Nepal (previously known as His Majesty's Government). Names of many institutions (including the army) were stripped of the "royal" adjective and the Raj Parishad (a council of the King's advisers) was abolished, with his duties assigned to the Parliament itself. The activities of the King became subject to parliamentary scrutiny and the King's properties were subjected to taxation. Moreover, Nepal was declared a secular state abrogating the previous status of a Hindu Kingdom. However, most of the changes have, as yet, not been implemented. On 19 July 2006, the prime minister, G. P. Koirala, sent a letter to the United Nations announcing the intention of the Nepalese government to hold elections to a constituent assembly by April 2007.
December 2007 to May 2008: Abolition of the monarchy
On 23 December 2007, an agreement was made for the monarchy to be abolished and the country to become a federal republic with the Prime Minister becoming head of state. Defying political pundits, who had predicted it to be trounced in the April 2008 elections, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) became the largest party amidst a general atmosphere of fear and intimidation from all sides. A federal republic was established in May 2008, with only four members of the 601-seat Constituent Assembly voting against the change, which ended 240 years of royal rule in Nepal. The government announced a public holiday for three days, (May 28—May 30), to celebrate the country becoming a federal republic.
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Major parties such as the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN UML) and the Nepali Congress agreed to write a constitution to replace the interim one within 2 years. However, uncooperative and "selfish" behavior of the political parties has been cited[by whom?] as the major cause behind the de-railing of the peace process.
The Maoists, as the largest party of the country, took power right after the elections and named Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) as the Prime Minister of the country. CPN UML also joined this government, but the Nepali Congress took the part of the main opposition party. People soon saw that the country's situation deteriorated and political turmoils were in store. Prachanda soon fell into a dispute with the then army chief Rookmangud Katwal and decided to sack him. But the President Ram Baran Yadav, as the supreme head of military power in the country, revoked this decision and gave the army chief additional time in office. An angry Prachanda and his party quit the government, majorly citing this reason and decided to operate as the main opposition to the government headed by CPN UML and its co-partner Nepali Congress afterwards. Madhav Kumar Nepal was named the Prime Minister.
The Maoists have been forcing closures - commonly known as bandhs - in the country, and have also declared autonomous states for almost all the ethnic groups in Nepal - seen[by whom?] as a part of revenge against the action that foiled their decision to sack the army chief.
Political leaders continue to discuss plans to end this turmoil, but none of the talks have been successful. Rising inflation, economic downturn, poverty, insecurity and uncertainty are the major problems. Many analysts[which?] opine that freedom has brought anarchy to the country. Many[who?] doubt that the political parties will succeed in writing a constitution.
On May 2012 constitution assembly was dissolved and another election to select the constitution assembly members was declared by Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.
As a mountainous country with agriculture, hydropower and tourism all important for its economy, Nepal is vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, such as rising temperatures, erratic rainfall patterns and incidents of drought. According to the Climate & Development Knowledge Network, this has prompted the government to introduce new initiatives and institutional reforms.
From 1991 to 2002 the Parliament (Sansad) had two chambers. The House of Representatives (Pratinidhi Sabha) had 205 members elected for five-year term in single-seat constituencies. The National Council (Rashtriya Sabha) had 60 members, 35 members elected by the Pratinidhi Sabha, 15 representatives of Regional Development Areas and 10 members appointed by the king. Parliament was subsequently dissolved by the king in 2002 on the pretext that it was incapable of handling the Maoists rebels.
From Loktantra Andolan to the Constituent Assembly
After the victory of Loktantra Andolan in the spring of 2006, a unicameral interim legislature replaced the previous parliament. The new body consists both of members of the old parliament as well as nominated members. As of December 2007, the legislature had the following composition.
The first elections after becoming a Republic: the Constituent Assembly
The judiciary is composed of the Supreme Court (Sarbochha Adalat), appellate courts, and various Trial court|district courts. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was appointed by the monarch on recommendation of the Constitutional Council; the other judges were appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Judicial Council.
Nepal's judiciary is legally separate from the executive and legislative branches and has increasingly shown the will to be independent of political influence. The judiciary has the right of judicial review under the constitution.
International organization participation
AsDB, CCC, Colombo Plan, ESCAP, FAO, Group of 77, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, International Development Association, IFAD, International Finance Corporation, IFRCS, International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, International Maritime Organization, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, International Organization for Standardization (correspondent), ITU, MONUC, Non-Aligned Movement, OPCW, SAARC, United Nations, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNMOP, UNMOT, UNTAET, UPU, World Federation of Trade Unions, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO (applicant)
Jonathan Devendra. 2013. Massacre at the Palace: The Doomed Royal Dynasty of Nepal. New York: Hyperion. ISBN 0-7868-6878-3.
- "PM Koirala, Dahal hold talks | Top Stories". Ekantipur.com. Retrieved 2015-03-01.
- Nepal's monarchy abolished, republic declared AFP, 2008-05-28
- Nepal Summary, OHCHR.
- Gurubacharya, Binaj (2007-12-24). "Nepal to Abolish Monarchy". Time. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- "The Maoists triumph". The Economist. 17 April 2008.
- Nepal votes to abolish monarchy BBC News, 2008-05-28
- OPINION: How far has climate change been mainstreamed in development policy in Nepal? Climate & Development Knowledge Network, accessed 30th September 2013.
- "Interim parliament endorses Interim Constitution-2063". NepalNews.com. 2007-01-15. Retrieved 2007-12-26.
- The Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2063 (2007)
- The Constitution of The Kingdom of Nepal, 2047 (1990) (terminated by the Interim Constitution)