chapter  26
20 Pages

Political Institutions and Governmental Processes

WithRobert C. Oberst, Yogendra K. Malik, Charles H. Kennedy, Ashok Kapur, Mahendra Lawoti, Syedur Rahman, Ahrar Ahmad

The history of political transformation and institutional development after Nepal obtained freedom from the Ranas in 1951 can be divided into five phases: the first democratic period, the panchayat period, the second democratic period, the royal interregnum, and the post-2006 transitional phase. The attempt at democratization during the 1990s faced several challenges, such as abuse of power, corruption, governmental instability, and armed conflict. Abuse of power, corruption, and politicization of the bureaucracy and the police became widespread after 1990. As corrupt politicians went scot-free, others followed their lead and corruption became pervasive, fostering a culture of impunity. Due to the high governmental instability under the parliamentary system and associated problems, many political parties, commentators, and scholars have argued for a presidential system under the new constitution. The centralized state and political culture meant that the local governments had inadequate power and funds to address the needs of local populations.