At the end of 2017, general elections were
held in Nepal for the first time since the country was
given a new constitution almost two years earlier.
Winning became the Maoist party CPN-MC and the communist
UML which together formed a left government.
Many Nepalese hoped that the election would lead to
political stability in a country that experienced ten
prime ministers in eleven years - years of political
quarrels and violent protest actions against the new
constitution. One of the thoughts of a new federal
constitution was precisely to create a stable political
system by moving more power to the provinces from the
turbulent political arena in Kathmandu (for more
information about the constitution, see Political
Country facts and history of Nepal, including state flag, location map, demographics, GDP data, currency code, and business statistics.
The elections to the new federal parliament in
Kathmandu and to the seven provincial assemblies were
held in two rounds in November (northern Nepal) and
December (Kathmandu and the south). Before the election,
the CPN-MC and UML joined in an alliance against the
strongest opponent, the center-left party of the
Nepalese Congress Party (NC).
The country's slow rebuilding after the catastrophic
earthquake in 2015 (see Modern History), as well as how
the crisis economy was getting on its feet, were key
issues during the electoral movement. Both blocks made
promising promises. The Left Alliance promised to
significantly increase the country's GDP per capita,
from $ 729 in 2016 to $ 5,000 ten years later. That
would require an annual growth of 20 percent. NC
promised 500,000 new jobs each year.
There was sporadic electoral violence, probably
carried out by outbreak groups from the old Maoist
guerrillas. At least one person was killed and dozens
The election results showed that the left alliance
won a clear majority of seats in the lower house. The
alliance also triumphed in the indirect election to the
parliament's upper house in February 2018. UML leader KP
Sharma Oli was appointed new prime minister, and the two
parties formed, after tough negotiations, a coalition
government. The government also included the small party
Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal (FSFN) as well as some
In March 2018, an indirect presidential election was
held in which Bidhya Devi Bhandari was re-elected for a
five-year term. She has been politically independent
since 2015 but was previously a member of UML.
Read more about the events in the Calendar.
FACTS - POLITICS
Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal / Federal
Democratic Republic of Nepal
Head of State
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015–)
Head of government
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli (2018–)
Most important parties with mandates in the
Nepal Communist Party-Marxist Leninists / UML (121),
Nepal Congress / NC (63), Nepal Communist Party-Maoist
Center / CPN-MC (53), Rastriya Janata Party (17),
Federal Socialist Forum (16), Others (5) (2017) 1
Main parties with mandates in the second most
Nepal Congress / NC (196), Nepal Communist
Party-Marxist Leninists / UML (175), Nepal United
Communist Party-Maoists / UCPN-M (80), National
Democratic Party-Nepal / RPP-Nepal (24), Madhesi
People's Law Forum / MJF (14), small parties and
independent candidates (86) (2013) 2
69% in the 2017 parliamentary elections; 78% in the
election to the Constituent Assembly in 2013; 63% in the
election to the Constituent Assembly in 2008
2022 parliamentary elections
- The distribution of seats applies to the
elected House of Commons in Parliament
2. The distribution of seats relates to the
election of a Constituent AssemblySources
Crisis arises in the peace process
Problems arise when it turns out that twice as many former Maoist rebels want
to be integrated into the army than the 6,500 agreed upon by the four largest
political parties. When Prime Minister Bhattarai appeals to the opposition
Nepalese Congress Party (NC) to allow more former guerrilla soldiers to join the
army, NC says no. Thus, the peace process risks being stalled again.
The Constitution is delayed
Since no proposal for a new constitution is yet in place, the Constituent
Assembly extends its own mandate once again - now for six months.
Settlement on the future of ancient rebels
The four largest political parties agree that 6,500 former guerrillas should
be integrated into the regular army. Remaining ex-rebels shall receive the
equivalent of SEK 40,000-65,000 each in compensation. All Maoist guerrillas will
be handed over to the state, a Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be set
up and land seized by the guerrillas will be returned to the original owners.
The Maoists hand in weapons
The former Maoist guerrillas are beginning to hand in weapons, which had been
stored in former UN-supervised stores, to the government committee overseeing
the peace process.
The constitutional proposal delays even more
The time limit for writing the constitution expires once again. The
Constituent Assembly extends its mandate for another three months.
The Maoists are back in office
As a result of the failed work on a new constitution, Prime Minister Khanal
and his government choose to resign. Baburam Bhattarai from the Maoist UCPN-M is
elected new head of government by the Constituent Assembly. Thus, the Maoists
within the UCPN-M regain government power. This can be done with the support of
mainly madhesi-based parties (see Political system).
Still no constitutional proposal
Once another year has passed and a second deadline passes, the committee
commissioned to present a proposal for a new constitution still cannot show any
results. The Constituent Assembly renews its own mandate again, now for three
Nepal gets a new government
In the 17th vote, the Constituent Assembly succeeds in electing
Marxist-Leninist UML's candidate Jhala Nath Khanal as new prime minister. He
forms a government with UML and the Maoist UCNP-M.
The UN mission begins to leave the country
The UN Mission Unmin, which was deployed to oversee the peace agreement (see
January 2007), begins its exit from Nepal. The responsibility
for the approximately 19,000 former guerrilla soldiers who are still trapped in
camps is entrusted to a special government committee. Nepal has lacked a regular
government since June 2010.