Nepal has a representative democracy as a form of government. Nepal was governed by a monarch until 2006, when the parliament voted to abolish the powers of the King. All the powers of the King were transferred to the prime minister.
Maoist rebels in Nepal started campaigning against the monarchy in 1995. The decade long civil war resulted in the death of over 12,000 people. In 2006, the Maoists agreed to a peace deal with the parliamentary government. In the 2008 elections, the Maoists were the largest parliamentary party. After the monarchy was abolished, the Maoist-led government took charge of Nepal.
The President is the head of state and the prime minister is the head of the government.
The parliament is unicameral with a statutory requirement of 601 members. 575 of the 601 members are directly elected and 26 are appointed by prime minister from minority groups. The term for all members of parliament is two years.
The main political parties in Nepal are:
- United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M)
- Nepali Congress (NC)
- Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML)
- Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF)
- Madhesi People’s Right Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D)
- Tarai Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP)
- Sadhbavana Party (SP)
- Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP)
Nepal is ranked 146th in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom. In the Asia-Pacific region, Nepal ranks 33rd out of 41 countries. Nepal's economic freedom score is lower than the regional and world averages.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is a survey to measure the perceived level of corruption across countries worldwide. Nepal is ranked 146th on this list which indicates that the corruption levels in the public departments in Nepal is high.
Nepal has slipped in the CPI rankings since 2009 – it was ranked 143rd with a score of 2.3 which indicates the perceived levels of corruption have increased in Nepal.
Freedom of information
Nepal is ranked 119th in the World Press Freedom Index 2010 with a score of 36.38 which indicates that media in Nepal is restricted.
- The Kathmandu Post
- The Rising Nepal
- Annapurna Post
- The Himalayan Times
- The Nepali Times
The judicial system in Nepal includes:
- The Supreme Court
- The Court of Appeal
- The District Courts
- Judicial Council
- Judicial Service Commission
The Supreme Court is the highest court in Nepal. It consists of a Chief Justice of Nepal and ad hoc Judges. The Supreme Court has both judicial and extra judicial powers. The judicial powers include the power of hearing the writ petitions, the power of hearing appeals, the power of reviewing its own judgments, the power to revise the judgments delivered by the Court of Appeal and the power to try certain cases (as specified by law).
The Court of Appeal is at the second tier in the hierarchy of courts in Nepal. Sixteen Courts of Appeal have been established under the Supreme Court.
The District Courts are the courts of first instance. Judges of the District Courts are appointed by the Chief Justice on recommendation of the Judicial Council.
The responsibilities of the Judicial Council include making recommendations for appointments, transfers, disciplinary action and the dismissal of judges. The Judicial Service Commission consists of the Chief Justice of Nepal, the Minister of Justice, senior-most judge of the Supreme Court, Chairman of the Public Service Commission and the Attorney General of Nepal.
(Source: supremecourt.gov, supremecourt.gov)