Democracy in Nepal

The country was for a long period, divided into many petty principalities in medieval period. In this period most of the principalities were economically and politically back warded.

  • After the 1828 B.S. the country started its steps toward the unification of the land.
  • In the history of Nepali politics, the democracy inaugurated in 2007 B.S. when it received freedom from the autocratic rule of Ranas.
  • The King had been the real ruler of Nepal since 1825 B.S., when the unified country was founded.
  • The Rana rule was dethroned by a popular revolution of 2007 B.S. Until than a hereditary prime minister was the real sovereign since all activities Nepali politics had to lead to Singh durbar, the then seat of prime minister.
  • In 2007 BS, Nepali people threw the Ranas out of power and established democracy and restored the Shah Kings.
  • The political system after 2007 BS was a liberal democracy under the leadership of Constitutional monarch. Political organization and forces of different ideological color were developed.
  • In this process the people of Nepal adopted a liberal democratic political system but their lack of democratic experience and political culture made it difficult to sustain for the long run.
  • Nepali politics marched to the institutional road only after the first parliamentary election in the history of the Nation.
  • In this election, Nine Political parties had contested the election in which the Nepali congress had got the two third majority. This was the first exercise of democracy in Nepal.
  • The elected government was also formed providing better chance for Nepali politicians to consolidate a parliamentary form of government and exercise power in a democratic manner.
  • Unfortunately, this chance never happened because the parliament was ended abruptly on 1 Poush 2017 BS when the king Mahendra exercised the emergency powers laid down in the Article 55 of the constitution of 2015.
  • Autocratic Monarchy remained until 2047 BS. During this period the partyless panchyat system was practiced in Nepal.
  • King Birendra announced a referendum with a choice of reformed panchyat system of a multiparty system in 2036 BS. Reformed Panchsyat system had got 54.99% vote and multiparty system had got 45.1 % vote in that referendum.
  • A joint front of Nepali congress and United Leftist front was formed and it conducted the movement with the motive of restoration of democracy. The primary task of this front was to accelerate the people movement for restoration of multiparty democratic system and to uproot the 30 years old Panchayat system from the Nepal.
  • Many urban based groups such as Journalists, teachers, professors, lawyers, doctors, nurses, engineers, poets, writers etc. joined the democratic movement to restore the democracy.
  • The movement for the restoration of multiparty democracy was started on 7 Falgun 2046 BS and ended on 26 Chaitra 2046 BS which restored the multiparty democracy in the country.
  • The democratic constitution was promulgated on 23rd Kartik 2047 BS.
  • After the restoration of multiparty democracy, first general election held on 29th Baishakh 2048 and Nepali Congress got the simple majority and the government was form under the leadership of Girija Prasad Koirala. But this government disorganized untimely in 2051 due to the internal conflict of Nepali congress.
  • Similarly mid-term election held in 2051 BS and in this election any party of Nepal did not get majority but Nepal Communist party (UML) stood as the largest party in Parliament and government of minority was formed under the leadership of Manamohan Adhikari but this government was also disorganized due to the failure to get the vote of confidence in Parliament.
  • Similarly another general election in Nepal held in 2056 BS and in this election Nepali Congress got the majority and democratic government was form under the prime minister ship of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai. But this government also became the victim of political instability faced by Nepal.
  • In 2064 first election of Constitution assembly held but the constitution assembly failed to give the democratic constitution to the country.
  • Second election of constitution assembly held in 2070 BS and this assembly gave the constitution to the country on 3rd Aswin 2072. At present we are practicing federal democratic system which is of inclusive nature.

Constitutional development in Nepal

  1. Pre-constitutional period: - The written history of constitution in Nepal was started in 2004 BS. Before 2004 BS constitutional norms and laws were the main basis of state operation. The history of constitutional development goes back to 1825 BS when the country was formed. Royal Edicts and key Hindu scriptures formed the law of land.
  • Civil Code (Muluki Ain) was promulgated by King Surendra Bir Bikram Shah in 1854 AD (1910 BS) and it was the first civil code in Nepal. The code was the main source to administer justice in Nepal for many years. Civil code was the codification of traditional approach of Hindu laws in common practice in Nepal.
  1. Nepal’s Government Legal Act-2004: - This act was proclaimed by the then prime minister Padma Shamsher. Three Indian constitutionalists Prakash Gupta, Dr. Ram Ugrasingh and Raghunath Singh were invited to draft the constitution of Nepal. The contstitution was with 6 parts, 68 Articles and 1 Schedule.

Salient features of Nepal’s Government legal Act 2004 BS

  1. Sovereignty: - According to this constitution the sovereignty of country was vested with the shree 3 Prime minister.
  2. First Written Constitution: - It was the first written constitution. It was divided into 6 parts, 68 Articles and Schedule. Part 1 Article 1 to 3 Background, Part 2 Article 4 and 5 Fundamental rights and Duties of Citizen, Part 3 Article 6 to 15 Executive assembly, Part 4 Article 16 to 47 Panchayatee Shabha, Centaral assembly and Legislature, part 5 Article 48 to 59 Judiciary, and part 6 Article 60 to 68 Miscellaneous were the major contents of this constitution.
  3. Provision of Fundamental rights and Duties: - The fundamental rights and duties were provisioned in Part 2 Article 4 and 5. Individual liberty, Right to speech, Right to publication, equal access in law, Compulsory free initial education, right to vote etc. are major fundamental right. Similarly protection of the country according to physical, mentally and economically, labour according to physical and mental capacity etc. were the major duties of Citizen to the country.
  4. Provision of Bicameral parliament: -
  • Two houses lower house and upper house
  • National Assembly as Lower house, total member 70, out of 70 42 were elected from the people and 28 nominated by the shree 3.
  • Bhardari Shabha, total members 30 and all would be nominated by the shree 3.

     5. Provision of Public Service Commission (Darkhasta Parisad)

  • In the Article 65 (a), all the members nominated by the shree 3
  • Main duty was recruit, Promotion and transformation of bureaucrats
  • Main motto able bureaucrats in administration in the country. 

    6. Provision of Judiciary

  • In Article 52 (a)
  • To conduct the judicial activities the was the provision of Judicial committee, One chief justice and 12 other judges, all member nominated by Shree 3
  • Main job explanation of constitution, hearing of appeal, to make law regarding to judicial administration in the country.

    7. Provision of Auditor general

  • There was the provision of Auditor-General (Pradhan Jachaki) to audit the governmental income and Expenditure.
  • It was mentioned in Article 62 (a) and (b) about the Auditor – General.
  • The Auditor-General must had to submit annual report of auditing to Shree 3 Every year.

     8. Provision of local self-governance

  • The constitution had managed system of local governance in the name of Panchayat. Constitution had managed there kinds of Local government which are Village Panchayat, Nagar Panchayat and District Panchayat. The job of local development is assigned to Village and Nagar Panchayat and to give suggestion to the Bada Hakim was the main job of District Panchayat.

     9. Provision of Emergency proclamation

  • It was mentioned in the Article 47 (a)
  • All the rights of emergency proclamation was with the Shree 3.

    10. Provision of temporary Law

  • The temporary law was managed in the constitution to give continuity in the peace and harmony of society. The right of drafting temporary law was vested with the Shree 3.