Democracy and rights
Nepal has problems with widespread corruption
within the political institutions and the state
administration. Journalists work under difficult
conditions. Legal security is low and the impunity after
the civil war 1996-2006 is extensive.
The Constitution guarantees citizens basic freedoms
and rights, recognizes a diversity of ethnic, religious
and linguistic groups and prescribes a democratic
multi-party system and an independent judiciary. Reality
looks partly different.
Offers a comprehensive list of airports in Nepal, including international airports with city located, size and abbreviation, as well as the biggest airlines.
Freedom House describes Nepal as a partly free
country. Free party formation prevails and there are
plenty of political parties (see Political system).
Governments are cast in general elections or in the vote
of confidence in Parliament. However, as a politically
active person, there is a risk of harassment and threats
from supporters on the opponent's side or for the police
to use unnecessarily much violence in connection with
In Parliament's upper house (National Assembly), a
certain number of seats are reserved for women (see
Political system). Otherwise, women are
under-represented in politics, as well as in public
society in general.
Nepal has serious problems with widespread corruption
in society, not least in the judiciary. In 2019,
Transparency International placed Nepal in 113 of 180
countries in its index of corruption in the world (see
the full list here). This was an improvement with eleven
investments since the previous year.
Freedom of expression and media
Before 1990, Nepal's mass media was completely
state-controlled. Criticism against the court and the
social system was not tolerated. When multi-party
systems were introduced in 1990, freedom of the press
was guaranteed in the constitution, but arbitrary
arrests of journalists continued. During periods of
state of emergency in the 2000s, the media was censored.
In connection with the peace agreement 2006 (see
Modern history), it was again stated that freedom of
press and expression should prevail, but in reality
journalists are still dangerous. Media workers are
subjected to harassment, death threats and physical
abuse. Behind the attacks lie security forces and armed
gangs, often associated with political groups.
Reporters Without Borders ranked Nepal in 112th in
180 countries in its index of freedom of the press in
the world in 2020 (see full list here). It was twelve
investments worse than three years earlier.
When the first 20-year parliamentary elections were
held in Nepal 2017, the process was marked by a number
of media freedom violations. Journalists were arrested
on arbitrary grounds and some were ill-treated in the
police repository. Others were beaten and harassed by
politicians and party supporters.
A law passed in 2018 restricts the possibilities of
conducting investigative journalism and criticizing
public figures. Amnesty International assesses the
working conditions of independent media as "extremely
Judicial system and legal security
The last court is the Supreme Court which has up to
21 judges. In addition, each province has its own court.
A special council, chaired by the federal prime
minister, resolves disputes between different provinces
as well as disputes between federal and provincial
levels. The lowest instance is the district courts.
The judicial system is considered to be permeated by
corruption and the legal security is low. The prisons
are poor with overcrowding and ill-health conditions.
The police force is corrupt and accused of brutality,
including in connection with demonstrations and
protests. Torture occurs in detention centers and
prisons. The death penalty is not punished.
Two commissions have been set up to investigate
allegations of human rights crimes and war crimes
committed by the Maoists and the government army during
the war. Over 60,000 applications have been received
over the years. However, the work of the commissions has
been hampered by lack of money and political will to
convict guilty. Only a few cases have come to trial.
Proposals have also been submitted for amnesty for war
crimes, but no decision has been made. The Maoist
guerrillas resorted to blasting, kidnapping, threats and
murders. The army committed disappearances and
The constitutional work begins
The Constituent Assembly decides that a proposal for a new constitution
should be ready by May 2010. A special committee in the Assembly begins work on
drafting the constitutional proposal.
Nepal formally becomes a republic
The ancient Kingdom of Nepal formally becomes a republic (see also
Maoist becomes prime minister of coalition government
Prachanda - former leader of the Maoist guerrillas, now leader of the
country's largest party, the Maoist CPN-M - is elected by the Constituent
Assembly as prime minister. Prachanda defeats Bahadur Deuba of the Nepalese
Congress (NC) with 80 percent of the vote. He then forms a broad coalition
government, but NC refuses to participate and goes into opposition. NC does not
want to be led by Prachanda.
Nepal gets its first president
Nepal's Constituent Assembly elects Ram Baran Yadav of the Nepalese Congress
(NC) as the country's first president. Yadav defeats Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal
Dahal, better known by the war name Prachanda, in the first round of elections.
Monarchy abolished - Nepal becomes republic
The newly elected Constituent Assembly, which in effect acts as the country's
parliament, decides to abolish the monarchy and establish a republic. Only 4 of
the Assembly's 220 members vote against the proposal.
The former guerrillas become the biggest party
When elections are held for a Constituent Assembly, the old Maoist guerrilla
within CPN-M becomes the largest party with 220 seats, followed by the Nepalese
Congress (NC) which receives 110 seats, the Marxist Leninist United
Marxist-Leninists (UML) with 103 seats and the Madhesi People's Law Forum (MJF).
with 52 mandates (later the parties are allocated a further mandate distributed
by the government, see Political system). The turnout is 63 percent.