Nepal Politics

Nepal Government and Politics

After a wave of pro-democracy protests in the early 1990s, the king ended the 30-year ban on political parties, and a coalition government came to power in April. In May 1991 the Congress Party won the country’s first democratic elections in 32 years and the Party’s General Secretary Girija Prasad Koirala, brother of Bisheswar Prasad Koirala, became Prime Minister. Koirala resigned in July 1994 and later the king dissolved Parliament and called elections for the same year.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal won the elections held on November 15, 1994. The 13 of June of 1995, the king dissolved parliament controversially once again in response to requests from the Communist Party and invited his cabinet to govern temporarily until the November elections; critics denounced it as a ploy to evade a vote of confidence in Parliament.

In September 1995 a parliamentary coalition consisting of the Nepalese Congress Party, the National Democratic Party and the Nepalese Agreement Party carried out a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister, Man Mohan Adhikari, who was forced to resign; the leader of the PCN, Sher Bahadur Deuba, was appointed head of government by the king to replace Adhikari and formed a new government. Violent incidents took place in the west of the country in March 1996, resulting in the death of 11 people and the establishment of more severe security measures.

In March 1997 a new government was formed, backed by center-right groups and the Communist Party. In October, Surya Bahadur Thapa was sworn in as Prime Minister. A year later, in December 1998, the king appointed a new governing coalition led by Girija Prasad Koirala after the ruling coalition up to that point was broken by disagreements between its members.

The 1 of June of 2001, the monarch Birendra Bir Bikram, Queen Aiswarya and other members of the royal family were killed in their palace Narayan Hiti, in Katmandu, in strange circumstances that incriminated as the author of the assassination of Crown Prince Dipendra, who then unsuccessfully attempted suicide. The next day, in a coma, Dipendra was proclaimed king by the Council of State. Hours later he died and his uncle Gyanendra Bir Bikram, Birendra’s brother, was crowned Nepalese sovereign on June 4.

According to Youremailverifier, the worsening of the violent actions carried out by the Maoist guerrillas since 1996, a circumstance that coincided with this state crisis, led to the resignation of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on July 19, who was succeeded at the head of the government by Sher Bahadur Deuba., and that the new monarch declared a state of emergency in November of that same year. In October 200 2 Gyanendra sacked Sher Bahadur Deuba, dissolved the Cabinet, and went on to personally exercise, temporarily, the functions of that body. During that same month, the sovereign appointed Lokendra Bahadur Chand as prime minister.

Subsequently, Gyanendra Bir Bikram would put Surya Bahadur Thapa (June 2003) and Sher Bahadur Deuba (June 2004) in charge of the government. The 1 of February of 2005, under the alleged inability of the executive to eradicate corruption and Maoist insurgency, Gyanendra, as it did in 2002, dissolved the Parliament and the Council of Ministers declared a state of emergency and assumed full powers, which this time announced that it would be extended for three years.

In November 2005, the guerrillas and the seven main democratic opposition parties sealed a 12-point agreement whose main objective was to put an end to royal absolutism. As a consequence, in April 2006, protests and mobilizations took place to demand the establishment of a truly democratic regime that would bring Gyanendra’s authoritarianism to an end, which imposed a curfew. Given the seriousness of the revolt, the King finally yielded to this civil uprising; he restored Parliament and appointed Girija Prasad Koirala as Prime Minister, chosen by the opposition to lead the process that would lead to elections for a Constituent Assembly.

At the end of May, the restored Parliament approved a series of important initiatives, promoted by the governmental alliance, that restricted the powers of the sovereign and increased those of the legislature. Likewise, the new government and the Maoist insurgency began the first approaches to open negotiations to end ten years of war; This process culminated in November, when the Maoist leader, Prachanda, and Girija Prasad Koirala signed, on behalf of the guerrillas and the government, a peace agreement.

This event, preceded by the delivery of weapons by the insurgents (who could be incorporated into the country’s political institutions), was the first step on the road to a transition that was to have its next milestone in the holding of elections for a Constituent Assembly. This normalization process met a new milestone on the first day of April 2007, when a provisional government was formed, also chaired by Girija Prasad Koirala, in which six members of the former Maoist guerrilla joined as ministers.

The next steps were firmly aimed at a momentous change: the abolition of the monarchical regime itself; With this, the intention was to ensure the decisive incorporation into political life of the Maoists, who precisely, in September 2007, had left the provisional government for demanding the removal of the monarch. In December of that year, the governing parties and the former guerrillas sealed a pact (which received the favorable vote of Parliament that same month) by which Nepal would abolish the monarchy and establish itself as a democratic federal republic, an extreme that would have to be formalized by the 601-member Constituent Assembly that would emanate from the general elections scheduled for April 2008.

Nepal Politics

About the author