Browse the listing below to find government information for Nepal, including flags, leaders,
and constitution information. Factrover also has complete information on Nepal at its
Nepal Country Page.
Type: Parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
Constitution: November 9, 1990.
Branches: Executive--prime minister (head of government), king (head of state). Legislative--Parliament consisting of House of Representatives (Lower House: 205 members) and National Assembly (Upper House: 60 members). Judicial--Supreme Court, 11 appellate courts, 75 district courts.
Subdivisions: 5 development regions, 14 zones, and 75 districts. 75 District Development Committees, 58 municipalities, 3,913 Village Development Committees, and 335,217 Ward Committees.
Political parties: Lower House representation--Nepali Congress Party, United Marxist-Leninist (Communist Party of Nepal), National Democratic Party (RPP), Nepal Goodwill Party (NSP), National People's Front, others. Elections--Every 5 years.
Suffrage: Universal over 18.
Central government budget (2003): $1.25 billion.
Defense/police (2002): $176 million.
National Day: Democracy Day, Falgun 7 (mid-February). The King’s birthday, July 7.
Government of Nepal
Nepal's November 1990 constitution enshrined fundamental human rights and established Nepal as a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. The country's form of government is multiethnic, multilingual, Hindu, and retains the king in the role of head of state.
Since dismissing the elected prime minister in the latter part of 2002, the King has appointed two Prime Ministers, one in October 2002 and one in June 2003. With the dissolution of Parliament in May 2002 and the expiration of local bodies’ terms in July 2002, Nepal currently has no elected representatives at either the national or local level.
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. The king appoints the chief justice and all other judges to the supreme, appellate, and district courts upon the recommendation of the Judicial Council. All lower court decisions, including acquittals, are subject to appeal. The Supreme Court is the court of last appeal. The king may grant pardons and may suspend, commute, or remit any sentence by any court.
Progress has been achieved in the transition to a more open society and greater respect for human rights since political reform began in 1990; however, substantial problems remain. Poorly trained police forces sometimes use excessive force in quelling violent demonstrations. In addition, there have been reports of torture under detention and widespread reports of custodial abuse. In 2000, the government established the Human Rights Commission, a government-appointed commission with a mandate to investigate human rights violations. To date, the commission has investigated 51 complaints. The government is sometimes slow to follow the commission's recommendations or to enforce accountability for recent and past abuses.
Security personnel continue to commit numerous human rights violations. The Maoists have continued and increased tactics of kidnapping, torture, bombings, intimidation, killings, and conscription of children. Within the Nepalese security force, violations ranging from disappearances to summary executions are recorded.
There are three major daily English-language newspapers, The Kathmandu Post, The Himalayan Times, and The Rising Nepal, of which the latter and its vernacular sister publication are owned by a government corporation. There are literally hundreds of smaller daily and other periodicals that are privately owned and of diverse journalistic quality. Views expressed since the 1990 move to democracy are varied and vigorous. The Government has issued licenses to 43 FM radio stations, while 4 television stations -- with a fifth set to begin in mid-2004--are privately owned and operated due to liberalization of licensing regulations. Radio Nepal and Nepal Television are government-owned and operated. There are nearly 200 cable television operators nationwide, and satellite dishes to receive television broadcasts abound.
Although some restrictions continue on freedom of expression, the law strictly forbidding the media to criticize or satirize the king or any member of the royal family has not been enforced in recent months. Since the King’s October 4, 2002 dissolution of the cabinet, critical op-ed pieces have appeared, and negative commentary by civil society has been liberally reported in the media without repercussion.
Proselytization is illegal. Trafficking in women and child labor remain serious problems. Discrimination against women and lower castes is prevalent.