Nepal

Nepal

In April 2006, Nepal’s major political parties formed an alliance and united with the Maoists in a mass movement and uprising against the monarchy. This led to a reinstated parliament, and the formation of a coalition government that initiated a peace process with the Maoists. The peace process continued to move forward, leading to a Comprehensive Peace Agreement bringing to an end to the war, placed the Nepal Army in barracks and Maoist combatants in cantonments and provided for their supervision by the United Nations. Constituent Assembly (CA) elections were one of the key components of the Agreement and the 2008 CA elections were a major milestone in a resoundingly successful peace process. The election helped transform the contestation of power from a violent conflict into a political process.

Although elections had been held since the early 1990s, the 2008 elections were the first that aimed to draft a new democratic constitution and took active measures to ensure that the legislative body reflected the diversity of the cultures/ ethnic groups in the country. But the process was highly challenging at the operational and political levels, given the remaining security issues and the high level of political tension in the country. In this context, the Election Commission of Nepal (ECN), which was responsible for organizing the elections, was also in charge of enforcing a Code of Conduct for political parties.