Election Commission, Nepal
Chief Election Commissioner, Nepal
|Mr. Neel Kantha Uprety|
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The Election Commission, Nepal (निर्वाचन आयोग नेपाल) is the body responsible for monitoring elections, as well as registering parties and candidates and reporting election outcomes, in Nepal. It was born out of the 1950 revolution in Nepal, and was established in law in 1951, although it has been changed somewhat by law over time. It has six members who serve for six-year terms, as established by the Interim Constitution of Nepal. During the Constituent Assembly elections in 2008, it was criticized for not fully upholding its duties, but was acknowledged to have managed the elections well nonetheless.
The first election commissioner was Subarna Shumsher Rana in 1951A.D.
The year 1950 was important in the history of Nepal: in that year, the Rana dynasty, which had controlled the government for exactly 104 years, was overthrown. The coup d'état marked Nepal's first attempt at democracy; one of the primary goals of the revolution was to eventually establish the Nepalese Constituent Assembly. The democratic experiment was short-lived; in less than ten years, King Mahendra dissolved the government in favor of the Panchayat system. However, another major accomplishment was the establishment of the National Election Commission in 1951.
The commission was declared by law to be independent of the government in 1966. This has been confirmed by Nepal's interim constitution in 2007.
It has five members, consisting of the Chief Election Commissioner and four others. The members serve for 6 years. In order to enforce its election guidelines, the commission employs a group of around 240,000 officials, mostly civil servants, to monitor elections.
When the commission was established, the members were chosen by the King. In 1989, King Birendra's constitution declared that the Chief Election Commissioner would still be appointed by the king, but the others would not. The interim constitution further amended the body's composition in 2006: all five members were made under appointment of the Prime Minister.
The commission came under some criticism during the Constituent Assembly elections for failing to enforce the code of conduct during elections. It also failed to fully educate voters about the election. However, it was acknowledged to have helped the elections run smoothly overall.
- Adhikari, Deepak (2008-05-06), "Nepal Takes Tenuous Step to Democracy", The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, retrieved 2009-08-21
- Skar, Harald O.; Cederroth, Sven (1997), Development Aid to Nepal: Issues and Options in Energy, Health, Education, Democracy and Human Rights, Routledge, ISBN 0-7007-1037-X
- The Nepal Interim Government Act of 1951, Section VI, 69. states " The superintendence, direction and control of the preparation of the electoral rolls for, and the conduct of these election, and, including appointment of Election tribunals for the decision of doubts and disputes arising out of or in connection of with these election shall be vested in this Commission, which is referred to in this Act as the Election Commission." ()
- Historical Background — Election Commission of Nepal, Election Commission of Nepal, retrieved 2009-08-21
- European Union Election Observation Mission to Nepal, European Union, 2008, retrieved 2009-08-31
- Franklin, Jeremy (September 2008), Nepal: Constituent Assembly Election April 2008 (PDF), Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, retrieved 2009-08-21
- Nepali, Rohit Kumar; Pyakurel, Uddhab P. (2009), A Study of Nepal’s Constituent Assembly Election: The Influence of Civil Society and the Multilateral System (PDF), Montreal International Forum, retrieved 2009-08-23