Nepal


Képtalálatok a következőre: nepal

Nepal (Nepali: नेपाल [neˈpal]), officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located mainly in the Himalayas, but also includes parts of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. With an estimated population of 26.4 million, it is 48th largest country by population and 93rd largest country by area. It borders China in the north and India in the south, east and west while Bangladesh is located within only 27 km (17 mi) of its southeastern tip and Bhutan is separated from it by the Indian state of Sikkim. Nepal has a diverse geography, including fertile plains, subalpine forested hills, and eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including Mount Everest, the highest point on Earth. Kathmandu is the capital and the largest city. Nepal is a multiethnic country with Nepali as the official language.

The name "Nepal" is first recorded in texts from the Vedic period of the Indian subcontinent, the era in ancient India when Hinduism was founded, the predominant religion of the country. In the middle of the first millennium BCE, Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, was born in Lumbini in southern Nepal. Parts of northern Nepal were intertwined with the culture of Tibet. The centrally located Kathmandu Valley is intertwined with the culture of Indo-Aryans, and was the seat of the prosperous Newar confederacy known as Nepal Mandala. The Himalayan branch of the ancient Silk Road was dominated by the valley's traders. The cosmopolitan region developed distinct traditional art and architecture. By the 18th century, the Gorkha Kingdom achieved the unification of Nepal. The Shah dynasty established the Kingdom of Nepal and later formed an alliance with the British Empire, under its Rana dynasty of premiers. The country was never colonized but served as a buffer state between Imperial China and British India. Parliamentary democracy was introduced in 1951, but was twice suspended by Nepalese monarchs, in 1960 and 2005. The Nepalese Civil War in the 1990s and early 2000s resulted in the establishment of a secular republic in 2008, ending the world's last Hindu monarchy.

Képtalálatok a következőre: nepalThe Constitution of Nepal, adopted in 2015, affirms Nepal as a secular federal parliamentary republic divided into seven provinces. Nepal was admitted to the United Nations in 1955, and friendship treaties were signed with India in 1950 and the People's Republic of China in 1960. Nepal hosts the permanent secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of which it is a founding member. Nepal is also a member of the Non-Aligned Movement and the Bay of Bengal Initiative. The military of Nepal is the fifth largest in South Asia; it is notable for its Gurkha history, particularly during the world wars, and has been a significant contributor to United Nations peacekeeping operations.


Contents
1 Etymology
2 History
2.1 Ancient Nepal
2.2 Medieval Nepal
2.3 Unification of Nepal
2.4 Rana autocratic regime
2.5 Democratic Nepal
3 Geography
4 Biodiversity
5 Politics and government
5.1 Politics
5.2 Government
5.3 Administrative divisions
5.4 Laws and law enforcement
5.5 Foreign economic and strategic relations
6 Economy
6.1 Tourism
6.2 Foreign employment
6.3 Infrastructure
7 Demographics
7.1 Language
7.2 Religion
7.3 Education
7.4 Health and sanitation
7.5 Immigrants and refugees
8 Society and culture
8.1 Society
8.2 Symbols
8.3 Art and architecture
8.4 Literature and the performing arts
8.5 Clothing
8.6 Cuisine
8.7 Sports and recreation
9 See also
10 Notes
11 References
12 Further reading
13 External links
Etymology
Before the unification of Nepal, the Kathmandu valley was known as Nepal Rajya. The precise origin of the term Nepāl is uncertain. A number of plausible theories are found in religious as well as academic texts. Nepal appears in ancient Indian literary texts dated as far back as the fourth century BC. However, an absolute chronology can not be established, as even the oldest texts may contain anonymous contributions dating as late as the early modern period. On the other hand, academic attempts to provide a plausible theory suffer from lack of a complete picture of history, and insufficient understanding of linguistics or of relevant Indo-European and Tibeto-Burman languages.

Képtalálatok a következőre: nepalAccording to Hindu mythology, Nepal derives its name from an ancient Hindu sage called Ne, referred to variously as Ne Muni or Nemi. According to Pashupati Purana, as a place protected by Ne, the country in the heart of the Himalayas came to be known as Nepal. According to Nepal Mahatmya, Nemi was charged with protection of the country by Pashupati. According to Buddhist mythology, Manjushri Bodhisattva drained a primordial lake of serpents to create the Nepal valley and proclaimed that Adi-Buddha Ne would take care of the community that would settle it. As the cherished of Ne, the valley would be called Nepal. According to Gopalarajvamshavali, the genealogy of ancient Gopala dynasty compiled circa 1380s, Nepal is named after Nepa the cowherd, the founder of the Nepali scion of the Abhiras. In this account, the cow that issued milk to the spot, at which Nepa discovered the Jyotirlinga of Pashupatinath upon investigation, was also named Ne.

Norwegian Indologist Christian Lassen proposed that Nepala was a compound of Nipa (foot of a mountain) and -ala (short suffix for alaya which means abode), and therefore, Nepala meant "abode at the foot of the mountain". He considered Ne Muni to be a fabrication. Indologist Sylvain Levi found Lassen's theory untenable but had no theories of his own, only suggesting that either Newara is a vulgarism of sanskritic Nepala, or Nepala is Sanskritisation of the local ethnic. Levi's view has some support in later works. The idea that Nepal is a polished form of Newar, the name of the indigenous people of Kathmandu valley, may be gaining support, but it leaves the question of etymology unanswered. One theory proposes that Nepa is a Tibeto-Burman stem consisting of Ne (cattle) and Pa (keeper), which alludes to the fact that early inhabitants of the valley were Gopalas (cowherds) and Mahispalas (buffalo-herds). Suniti Kumar Chatterji thought that 'Nepal' originated from Tibeto-Burman roots- Ne, of uncertain meaning (as multiple possibilities exist), and pala or bal, whose meaning is lost entirely.

History
Main article: History of Nepal

Lumbini, listed as the birthplace of Gautama Buddha by the UNESCO World Heritage Convention
Ancient Nepal
Neolithic tools found in the Kathmandu Valley indicate that people have been living in the Himalayan region for at least eleven thousand years.[33]


Képtalálatok a következőre: nepal

Nepal is mentioned in the late Vedic Atharvaveda Pariśiṣṭa and in the post-Vedic Atharvashirsha Upanishad.[34] Nepal is also mentioned in Hindu texts such as the Narayana Puja and the regional text "Nepal Mahatmya" which claims to be a part of Skanda Purana.[34] The Gopal Bansa were likely one of the earliest inhabitants of Kathmandu valley.[35] The earliest rulers of Nepal were the Kiratas (Kirata Kingdom), peoples often mentioned in Hindu texts, who ruled Nepal for many centuries. Various sources mention up to 32 Kirati kings ruling over 16 centuries.[36]

Around 500 BCE, small kingdoms and confederations of clans arose in the southern regions of Nepal. From one of these, the Shakya polity, arose a prince who later renounced his status to lead an ascetic life, founded Buddhism, and came to be known as Gautama Buddha (traditionally dated 563–483 BCE).[37] By 250 BCE, the southern regions had come under the influence of the Maurya Empire of North India and later became a vassal state under the Gupta Empire in the 4th century CE.[38] In Samudragupta's Allahabad Pillar it is mentioned as a border country.

The kings of the Lichhavi dynasty have been found to have ruled Nepal after the Kirat monarchical dynasty. The context that "Suryavansi Kshetriyas had established a new regime by defeating the Kirats" can be found in some genealogies and Puranas. It is not clear yet when the Lichhavi dynasty was established in Nepal. According to the opinion of Baburam Acharya, the prominent historian of Nepal, Lichhavies established their independent rule by abolishing the Kirati state that prevailed in Nepal around 250 CE.

The Licchavi dynasty went into decline in the late 8th century, and was followed by a Newar or Thakuri era. Thakuri kings ruled over the country up to the middle of the 12th century CE; King Raghav Dev is said to have founded the ruling dynasty in October 869 CE.[39] King Raghav Dev also started the Nepal Sambat.[40]

Medieval Nepal
Main articles: Malla (Nepal) and Khasa kingdom
In the early 12th century, leaders emerged in far western Nepal whose names ended with the Sanskrit suffix malla ("wrestler"). These kings consolidated their power and ruled over the next 200 years, until the kingdom splintered into two dozen petty states. Another Malla dynasty beginning with Jayasthiti emerged in the Kathmandu valley in the late 14th century, and much of central Nepal again came under a unified rule. In 1482, the realm was divided into three kingdoms: Kathmandu, Patan, and Bhaktapur.[41]

Unification of Nepal
Main article: Kingdom of Nepal

King Tribhuvan giving an audience to British general Claude Auchinleck at the royal palace in Kathmandu, 1945

Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion and Prime Minister of Nepal B. P. Koirala
In the mid-18th century, Prithvi Narayan Shah, a Gorkha king, set out to put together what would become present-day Nepal. He embarked on his mission by securing the neutrality of the bordering mountain kingdoms. After several bloody battles and sieges, notably the Battle of Kirtipur, he managed to conquer the Kathmandu Valley in 1769. A detailed account of Prithvi Narayan Shah's victory was written by Father Giuseppe, an eyewitness to the war.[42]

The Gorkha control reached its height when the North Indian territories of the Kumaon and Garhwal Kingdoms in the west to Sikkim in the east came under Nepalese control. A dispute with Tibet over the control of mountain passes and inner Tingri valleys of Tibet forced the Qing Emperor of China to start the Sino-Nepali War compelling the Nepali to retreat and pay heavy reparations to Peking.

Rivalry between the Kingdom of Nepal and the East India Company over the control of states bordering Nepal eventually led to the Anglo-Nepali War (1815–16). At first, the British underestimated the Nepali and were soundly defeated until committing more military resources than they had anticipated needing. Thus began the reputation of Gurkhas as fierce and ruthless soldiers. The war ended in the Sugauli Treaty, under which Nepal ceded recently captured lands as well as the right to recruit soldiers. Madhesis, having supported the East India Company during the war, had their lands gifted to Nepal.[43]

Rana autocratic regime
Factionalism inside the royal family led to a period of instability. In 1846, a plot was discovered revealing that the reigning queen had planned to overthrow Jung Bahadur Kunwar, a fast-rising military leader. This led to the Kot massacre; armed clashes between military personnel and administrators loyal to the queen led to the execution of several hundred princes and chieftains around the country. Jung Bahadur Kunwar emerged victorious and founded the Rana dynasty, later known as Jung Bahadur Rana. The king was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made powerful and hereditary. The Ranas were staunchly pro-British and assisted them during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 (and later in both World Wars). Some parts of the Terai region populated with non-Nepali peoples were gifted to Nepal by the British as a friendly gesture because of her military help to sustain British control in India during the rebellion. In 1923, the United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship that superseded the Sugauli Treaty of 1816.[43]

Legalized slavery was abolished in Nepal in 1924.[44] Rana rule was marked by tyranny, debauchery, economic exploitation and religious persecution.[45][46]

Democratic Nepal
In the late 1940s, newly emerging pro-democracy movements and political parties in Nepal were critical of the Rana autocracy. Meanwhile, with the invasion of Tibet by China in the 1950s, India sought to counterbalance the perceived military threat from its northern neighbour by taking pre-emptive steps to assert more influence in Nepal. India sponsored both King Tribhuvan (ruled 1911–1955) as Nepal's new ruler in 1951 and a new government, mostly comprising the Nepali Congress, thus terminating Rana hegemony in the kingdom.[43]

After years of power wrangling between the king and the government, King Mahendra (ruled 1955–1972) scrapped the democratic experiment in 1959, and a "partyless" Panchayat system was made to govern Nepal until 1989, when the "Jan Andolan" (People's Movement) forced King Birendra (ruled 1972–2001) to accept constitutional reforms and to establish a multiparty parliament that took seat in May 1991.[47] In 1991–92, Bhutan expelled roughly 100,000 Bhutanese citizens of Nepali descent, most of whom have been living in seven refugee camps in eastern Nepal ever since.

In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal started a violent bid to replace the royal parliamentary system with a people's republic. This led to the long Nepali Civil War and more than 12,000 deaths. On 1 June 2001, there was a massacre in the royal palace. King Birendra, Queen Aishwarya and seven other members of the royal family were killed. The alleged perpetrator Crown Prince Dipendra, who allegedly committed suicide shortly thereafter, was briefly declared king for three days while he was in coma. Following the carnage, King Birendra's brother Gyanendra inherited the throne. On 1 February 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed the elected government and legislature, assuming full executive powers to quash the violent Maoist movement.[47] But this initiative was unsuccessful because a stalemate had developed in which the Maoists were firmly entrenched in large expanses of countryside but could not yet dislodge the military from numerous towns and the largest cities. In September 2005, the Maoists declared a three-month unilateral ceasefire to negotiate.

In response to the 2006 democracy movement, King Gyanendra agreed to relinquish sovereign power to the people. On 24 April 2006 the dissolved House of Representatives was reinstated. Using its newly acquired sovereign authority, on 18 May 2006 the House of Representatives unanimously voted to curtail the power of the king and declared Nepal a secular state, ending its time-honoured official status as a Hindu Kingdom. On 28 December 2007, a bill was passed in parliament to amend Article 159 of the constitution – replacing "Provisions regarding the King" by "Provisions of the Head of the State" – declaring Nepal a federal republic, and thereby abolishing the monarchy.[48] The bill came into force on 28 May 2008.[49]

Képtalálatok a következőre: nepal

Dr. Ram Baran Yadav, the first President of Nepal
Following the declaration of the federal republic, an election was held for the Constituent Assembly that would draft a new constitution.[50] A period of instability followed; with changing governments, and various nationalist movements and popular protests demanding for ethnic autonomy; the political deadlock meant the constituent assembly failed to adopt a constitution within the stipulated time. The Constituent Assembly was dissolved in May 2012.[51] A second election for a new Constituent Assembly was held in 2013 under a non-partisan government led by former Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi.[52][53] On 25 April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal[54] followed by a 7.3 magnitude aftershock two weeks later, causing a combined death toll of 8,500, about 21,000 injuries and material loss amounting to a third of the country's annual Gross Domestic Product.[55] The Constitution of Nepal, passed with a 90% majority was announced in 20 September 2015 making Nepal a federal democratic republic divided into seven unnamed provinces. It was, however, rejected by the Madhesi nationalist parties, who intensified their protests, leading to an unofficial economic blockade by the Government of India. By February 2016, an amendment had been agreed between India and Nepal, and the Madhesis slowly backed down after it was passed by parliament.[56][57] The elections for the local, provincial and federal levels of government were held in 2017 and Nepal Communist Party emerged as the ruling party with a strong majority at the federal level, as well as six of the seven provinces.[58]

Geography
Main articles: Geography of Nepal and Geology of Nepal

A topographic map of Nepal.

Mount Everest, the highest peak on earth, lies on the Nepal-China border.
Nepal is of roughly trapezoidal shape, about 800 kilometres (500 mi) long and 200 kilometres (120 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 km2 (56,827 sq mi). It lies between latitudes 26° and 31°N, and longitudes 80° and 89°E. Nepal's defining geological processes began 75 million years ago when the Indian plate, then part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, began a north-eastward drift caused by seafloor spreading to its south-west, and later, south and south-east.[59] Simultaneously, the vast Tethyn oceanic crust, to its northeast, began to subduct under the Eurasian plate.[59] These dual processes, driven by convection in the Earth's mantle, both created the Indian Ocean and caused the Indian continental crust eventually to under-thrust Eurasia and to uplift the Himalayas.[59] Immediately south of the emerging Himalayas, plate movement created a vast trough that rapidly filled with river-borne sediment[60] and now constitutes the Indo-Gangetic Plain.[61] Nepal lies almost completely within this collision zone, occupying the central sector of the Himalayan arc, nearly one third of the 2,400 km (1,500 mi)-long Himalayas,[62][63][64][65][66][67] with a small strip of southernmost Nepal stretching into the Indo-Gangetic plain and two districts in the northwest stretching up to the Tibetan plateau.

Nepal is divided into three principal physiographic belts known as Himal-Pahad-Terai.[d] Himal is the mountain region containing snow and situated in the Great Himalayan Range; it makes up the northern part of Nepal. It contains the highest elevations in the world including 8,848 metres (29,029 ft) height Mount Everest (Sagarmāthā in Nepali) on the border with China. Seven other of the world's "eight-thousanders" are in Nepal or on its border with China: Lhotse, Makalu, Cho Oyu, Kangchenjunga, Dhaulagiri, Annapurna and Manaslu. Pahad is the mountain region that does not generally contain snow. The mountains vary from 800 to 4,000 metres (2,600 to 13,100 ft) in altitude, with progression from subtropical climates below 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) to alpine climates above 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). The Lower Himalayan Range, reaching 1,500 to 3,000 metres (4,900 to 9,800 ft), is the southern limit of this region, with subtropical river valleys and "hills" alternating to the north of this range. Population density is high in valleys but notably less above 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) and very low above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), where snow occasionally falls in winter. The southern lowland plains or Terai bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. Terai is the lowland region containing some hill ranges. The plains were formed and are fed by three major Himalayan rivers: the Koshi, the Narayani, and the Karnali as well as smaller rivers rising below the permanent snowline. This region has subtropical to tropical climate. The outermost range of the foothills called Sivalik Hills or Churia Range, cresting at 700 to 1,000 metres (2,300 to 3,280 ft), marks the limits of the Gangetic Plain; however broad, low valleys called Inner Terai Valleys (Bhitri Tarai Upatyaka) lie north of these foothills in several places.

The Indian plate continues to move north relative to Asia at about 50 mm (2.0 in) per year.[68] This makes Nepal an earthquake prone zone, and periodic earthquakes that have devastating consequences present a significant hurdle to development. Erosion of the Himalayas is a very important source of sediment, which flows to the Indian Ocean.[69] Saptakoshi, in particular, carries huge amount of silt out of Nepal but sees extreme drop in Gradient in Bihar, causing severe floods and course changes, and is therefore, known as the sorrow of Bihar. Severe flooding and landslides cause deaths and disease, destroy farmlands and cripple the transport infrastructure of the country, during the monsoon season each year.

Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to the altitudes. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,900 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,900 to 7,900 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,900 to 11,800 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,800 to 14,400 ft), and the Arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft). Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The Himalayas block cold winds from Central Asia in the winter and form the northern limits of the monsoon wind patterns.

Biodiversity
Main article: Wildlife of Nepal
See also: Protected areas of Nepal and Community forestry in Nepal
Land cover map of 2010
This land cover map of Nepal using Landsat 30 m (2010) data shows forest cover is the dominant type of land cover in Nepal[70]

The greater one-horned rhinoceros roams the sub-tropical grasslands of the Terai plains.
Nepal contains a disproportionately large diversity of plants and animals, relative to its size.[71][72] Nepal, in its entirety, forms the western portion of the eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot, with notable biocultural diversity.[73] The dramatic differences in elevation found in Nepal (60 m from sea level in the Terai plains, to 8,848 m Mount Everest)[74] result in a variety of biomes.[71] Eastern half of Nepal is richer in biodiversity as it receives more rain, compared to western parts, where arctic desert-type conditions are more common at higher elevations.[72] Nepal is a habitat for 4.0% of all mammal species, 8.9% of bird species, 1.0% of reptile species, 2.5% of amphibian species, 1.9% of fish species, 3.7% of butterfly species, 0.5% of moth species and 0.4% of spider species.[72] In its 35 forest-types and 118 ecosystems,[71][e] Nepal harbours 2% of the flowering plant species, 3% of pteridophytes and 6% of bryophytes.[72]

Nepal's forest cover is 59,624 km2 (23,021 sq mi), 40.36% of the country's total land area, with an additional 4.38% of scrubland, for a total forested area of 44.74%, an increase of 5% since the turn of the millennium.[75] In the southern plains, Terai-Duar savanna and grasslands ecoregion contains some of the world's tallest grasses as well as Sal forests, tropical evergreen forests and tropical riverine deciduous forests.[76] In the lower hills (700 m – 2,000 m), subtropical and temperate deciduous mixed forests containing mostly Sal (in the lower altitudes), Chilaune and Katus, as well as subtropical pine forest dominated by Chir pine are common. The middle hills (2,000 m – 3,000 m) are dominated by Oak and Rhododendron. Subalpine coniferous forests cover the 3,000 m to 3,500 m range, dominated by Oak (particularly in the west), Eastern Himalayan fir, Himalayan pine and Himalayan hemlock; Rhododendron is common as well. Above 3,500 m in the west and 4,000 m in the east, coniferous trees give way to Rhododendron-dominated alpine shrubs and meadows.[72]

Among the notable trees, are the astringent Azadirachta indica, or neem, which is widely used in traditional herbal medicine,[77] and the luxuriant Ficus religiosa, or peepal,[78] which is displayed on the ancient seals of Mohenjo-daro,[79] and under which Gautam Buddha is recorded in the Pali canon to have sought enlightenment.[80] Rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal.[81]

Most of the subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forest of the lower himalayan region is descended from the tethyan tertiary flora.[82] As the Indian plate collided with Eurasia forming and raising the Himalayas, the arid and semi-arid mediterranean flora was pushed up and adapted to the more alpine climate over the next 40–50 million years.[82][83] The Himalayan biodiversity hotspot was the site of mass exchange and intermingling of the Indian and Eurasian species in the neogene.[84] One mammal species (Himalayan field mouse), two each of bird and reptile species, nine amphibian, eight fish and 29 butterfly species are endemic to Nepal.[72][f]


Himalayan monal (Danphe), the national bird of Nepal,[86] nests high in the himalayas
Nepal contains 107 IUCN-designated threatened species, 88 of them animal species, 18 plant species and one species of "fungi or protist" group.[87] These include the endangered Bengal tiger, the Red panda, the Asiatic elephant, the Himalayan musk deer, the Wild water buffalo and the South Asian river dolphin,[88] as well as the critically endangered Gharial, the Bengal florican,[71][89] and the White-rumped Vulture, which has become nearly extinct by having ingested the carrion of diclofenac-treated cattle.[90] The pervasive and ecologically devastating human encroachment of recent decades has critically endangered Nepali wildlife. In response, the system of national parks and protected areas, first established in 1973 with the enactment of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act 1973,[91] was substantially expanded. Vulture restaurants[72] coupled with a ban on veterinary usage of diclofenac has seen a rise in the number of white-rumped vultures.[92][90] The community forestry program which has seen a third of the country's population directly participate in managing a quarter of the total forested area, has helped the local economies while reducing human-wildlife conflict.[93][94] The breeding programmes[95] coupled with community-assisted military patrols,[96] and a crackdown on poaching and smuggling, has seen poaching of critically endangered tigers and elephants as well as vulnerable rhinos, among others, go down to effectively zero, and their numbers have steadily increased.[97] Nepal has ten national parks, three wildlife reserves, one hunting reserve, three conservation areas and eleven buffer zones, covering a total area of 28,959.67 km2 (11,181.39 sq mi), or 19.67% of the total land area,[98] while ten wetlands are registered under the Ramsar Convention.[99]

Politics and government
Politics
Main article: Politics of Nepal
Main office holders
Bidhya Devi Bhandari
Bidhya Devi Bhandari, President of Nepal since 29 October 2015
Khadga Prasad Oli
Khadga Prasad Oli, Prime Minister since 15 February 2018
Nepal is a parliamentary republic with a multi-party system.[100] It has four political parties recognised in the federal parliament: Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Nepali Congress (NC),[100] Samajbadi Party Nepal (SPN) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN).[100] While all major parties officially espouse democratic socialism, NCP is considered leftist while Nepali Congress is considered centrist, with most considering it center-left and some center-right.[101] The minor party SPN is leftist and RJPN is center-right to right-wing.[102] During most of the brief periods of democratic exercise in the 1950s as well as the 1990s, Nepali Congress held a majority in parliament.[103] Following the entry of the Maoists into the political process, they were the largest party in the first constituent assembly and Nepali Congress was the largest in the second, with no party winning a majority.[104] In the aftermath of the 2017 elections, the first one according to the new constitution, NCP has become the ruling party at the federal level as well as six out of seven provinces.
While Nepali Congress has a significantly reduced representation, it is the only major opposition to the ruling communist party in all levels of government.

Early politics in the Kingdom of Nepal was characterised by factionalism, conspiracies and murders, including two major massacres.[g] After almost a century of power-wrangling among the prominent Basnyat, Pande and Thapa families, a fast-rising military leader Bir Narsingh Kunwar[h] emerged on top in the aftermath of the Kot massacre, and established the Rana autocratic regime which consolidated powers of the King as well as prime minister and reigned for another century, with a policy of oppression and isolationism. By the 1930s, Nepali expatriates in India had started smuggling in writings on political philosophies, which gave birth to a vibrant underground political movement in the capital, birthing Nepal Praja Parishad in 1939, which was dissolved only two years later, following the execution of the four great martyrs. Around the same time, Nepalis involved in the Indian Independence Movement started organising into political parties, leading to the birth of Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal. Following Indian Independence, Nepali Congress was successful in overthrowing the Rana regime with support from the Indian government and cooperation from the king. While communism was still trying to find its footing, Nepali Congress enjoyed overwhelming support of the electorate. Following a brief ten-year exercise in democracy, another partyless autocracy was initiated, this time by the King, who deposed the democratically elected government of Nepali Congress, imposed or exiled prominent leaders and issued a ban on party politics.

Many political parties and their leaders remained underground or in exile for the next 30 years of partyless politics in Nepal. BP Koirala was released from prison in 1968 and went into exile in Benaras, returning in 1976 only to immediately be put in house arrest. Although an armed insurgency launched by the major communist faction called the Jhapa movement had failed comprehensively by 1971, it formed the foundation for the dominant communist power, CPN ML, that was officially launched in 1978. A general referendum was held in 1980, which saw the CPN ML campaign for the option of multi-party democracy, along with Nepali Congress, but the Panchayat System was declared the winner to significant controversy. The Panchayat rule saw governments led by a group of monarchy loyalists taking turns, with Surya Bahadur Thapa, Tulsi Giri and Kirti Nidhi Bista becoming prime minister three times each, among others. It introduced a number of reforms, built infrastructures and modernised the country, while significantly curtailing political freedom, imposing the Nepali language and khas culture to the oppression of all others, and spreading Indophobic propaganda the effects of which are experienced to the present day.


Prachanda speaking at a rally in Pokhara.
In 1990, the joint civil resistance launched by the United left front and Nepali Congress was successful in overthrowing the Panchayat, and the country became a constitutional monarchy. The United Left Front became CPN UML. The Panchayat loyalists formed National Democratic Party which emerged as the third major party. While Nepali Congress ran the government for most of the next ten years of democracy that followed, democracy was mostly a disappointment owing to the immature democratic culture and political infighting in the capital, as well as the civil war that followed the guerrilla insurgency launched by the Maoist Party. Following a four-year autocratic rule by King Gyanendra that failed to defeat the Maoists, a mass civil protest was launched by a coalition of the maoists and the political parties in 2006, which forced the king to stepped down, brought the maoists to the peace process, and established a democratic republic by 2008.

Following the political consensus to draft the new constitution of the Republic via a constituent assembly, Nepali politics saw a rise of nationalist groups and ideologies. While the political power-wrangling caused continuous instability, maintaining the established average of nine months per government, this period saw two constituent assembly elections and the rise of Madhesi nationalist parties, especially in the Eastern Terai region. By 2015, the new constitution had been promulgated and Nepal became "a federal democratic republic striving towards democratic socialism". In 2017, a series of elections were held according to the new constitution, which established Nepal Communist Party (NCP) (formally united after the election) as the ruling party at the federal level as well as six of the seven provinces, Nepali Congress as the only significant opposition in federal and provincial levels, while the Madhesi coalition formed the provincial government in Province No. 2, but boasts negligible presence in the rest of the country.

Entrance to Singha Durbar, the seat of the Nepali government in Kathmandu
Nepal is governed according to the Constitution of Nepal, which came into effect on 20 September 2015. It defines Nepal as having multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multi-cultural characteristics with common aspirations of people living in diverse geographical regions, and being committed to and united by a bond of allegiance to the national independence, territorial integrity, national interest, and prosperity of Nepal. All Nepali people collectively constitute the state.

The Government of Nepal comprises three branches:

Executive: The form of governance of Nepal is a multi-party, competitive, federal democratic republican parliamentary system based on plurality. The executive power of Nepal rests with the Council of Ministers in accordance with the Constitution and Nepali law. The President appoints the parliamentary party leader of the political party with the majority in the House of Representatives as a Prime Minister, and a Council of Ministers is formed in his/her chairmanship. The executive power of the provinces, pursuant to the Constitution and laws, is vested in the Council of Ministers of the province. The executive power of the province shall be exercised by the province Head in case of absence of the province Executive in a State of Emergency or enforcement of Federal rule. Every province has a ceremonial Head as the representative of the Federal government. The President appoints a Governor for every province. The Governor exercises the rights and duties as specified in the constitution or laws. The Governor appoints the leader of the parliamentary party with the majority in the Provincial Assembly as the Chief Minister and the Council of Ministers are formed under the chairpersonship of the Chief Minister.
Legislature: The Legislature of Nepal, called Federal Parliament, consists of two Houses, namely the House of Representatives and the National Assembly. The term of House of Representatives is five years. The House of Representatives consists of 275 members: 165 members elected through the first-past-the-post electoral system consisting of one member from each of the one hundred and sixty five electoral constituencies; 110 elected from proportional representation electoral system where voters vote for parties, while treating the whole country as a single electoral constituency. The National Assembly is a permanent house. The tenure of members of National Assembly is six years. The National Assembly consists of 59 members: 56 members elected from an Electoral College, comprising members of provincial Assembly and chairpersons and vice-chairpersons of Village councils and Mayors and Deputy Mayors of Municipal councils, with different weights of votes for each, with eight members from each province, including at least three women, one Dalit, and one person with a disability or a member of a minority. Three members, including at least one woman, are to be nominated by the President on the recommendation of the Government of Nepal. A Provincial Assembly is the unicameral legislative assembly for a federated province. The term for the Provincial Assembly is five years.
Judiciary: Powers relating to justice in Nepal are exercised by courts and other judicial institutions in accordance with the provisions of the constitution, other laws, and recognised principles of justice. Nepal has a unitary three-tier independent judiciary that comprises the Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice of Nepal, 7 High Courts, and a large number of trial courts. The supreme court is the highest court in the land. The high court is the highest court in each province. There are district courts, one in each district below the high courts. The local governments may convene local judicial bodies to resolve disputes and render non-binding verdicts on cases not involving actionable crime. The actions and proceedings of the local judicial bodies may be guided and countermanded by the district courts.

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Nepal is a federal republic comprising 7 provinces. Each province is composed of 8 to 14 districts. The districts, in turn, comprise local units known as urban and rural municipalities. There is a total of 753 local units which includes 6 metropolitan municipalities, 11 sub-metropolitan municipalities and 276 municipalities for a total of 293 urban municipalities, and 460 rural municipalities. Each local unit is composed of wards. There are 6,743 wards in total.

The local governments enjoy executive and legislative as well as limited judicial powers in their local jurisdiction. The provinces have unicameral parliamentary westminster system of governance. The local and provincial governments exercise some absolute powers and some powers shared with provincial and federal governments as applicable, as listed in the constitution of Nepal. The laws enacted by local governments may not contradict existing laws at the provincial and federal levels or the national constitution. Similarly, provincial legislature may not enact laws contradicting federal laws or the national constitution. The powers not listed in the constitution are exercised by the federal government. The district coordination committee, a committee composed of all elected officials from the local governments in the district, has a very limited role.

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