Parliamentary Chamber: Pratinidhi Sabha


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  Pratinidhi Sabha

Dates of elections / renewal (from/to):

  15 November 1994

Purpose of elections:

  Elections were held for all the seats of the House of Representatives following the premature dissolution of this body in July 1994. General elections had previously been held in May 1991.

Background and outcome of elections:

  The previous general elections represented the first multiparty polling in Nepal since 1959 and marked the final phase of the democratisation process highlighted by the adoption of a new Constitution in November 1990. Under this text, the old panchayat system of parliament was replaced by a mostly elected bicameral legislature.

On 11 July1994, King Birendra prematurely dissolved Parliament and set the polling date for 13 November (later postponed by two days). The day before, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala (Nepali Congress Party – NCP) had offered to resign after losing the support of 36 lawmakers of his own party. On request of the King, he nevertheless stayed on in a caretaker capacity until the elections – scheduled some 18 months before they were due.

Campaign issues focused on the country’s economy, relations with neighbouring India, stability in government and personalities. The ruling NCP’s main challenge came from the Nepali Communist Party (UML – for “Unified Marxist-Leninist) which, despite its name, advocated social democratic rather than hard-line policies and had, in recent years, called for an end to Nepal’s absolute monarchy and a return to multiparty democracy. The Communists were committed to economic liberalisation and promised to institute land reforms involving the break-up of large property holdings. Altogether some 24 parties and 1,500 candidates vied for the 205 Representatives’ seats at stake.

Election day was marked by a relatively low turnout and marred by scattered violence, necessitating repeat votes in 64 stations; the polling process was deemed generally fair. Final results gave the UML the largest number of seats with 88 as it and the monarchist National Democratic Party (NDP) picked up the faction-ridden NCP’s losses.

Analysts attributed the weak turnout to the electorate’s disenchantment with the performance of the outgoing Government (especially in the economic field) and the overall outcome as less of a vote for communism than a backlash against the NCP and Prime Minister Koirala, whose administration had been plagued by charges of corruption and subservience to India.

On 30 November, Mr. Mana Nohan Adhikary, leader of UML, was sworn in as Prime Minister at the head of a minority Government; previously, the NCP had failed to enlist the NDP as a coalition partner.

Round no 1 (15 November 1994): Elections results  
Number of registered electors 12,327,329
Voters 7,625,348 (61.85%)
Blank or invalid ballot papers 241,071
Valid votes 7,384,277

Round no 1: Distribution of seats  
Political Group Total
Nepali Communist Party (UML) 88
Nepali Congress Party (NCP) 83
National Democratic Party (NDP) 20
Nepali Labourers & Peasants Party 4
Nepal Sadavabana Party 3
Independents 7

Distribution of seats according to sex:  
Men: 198
Women: 7

Distribution of seats according to age:  
Under 35 years 39
35-44 years 97
45-54 years 43
55-64 years 18
65 and over 8

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Copyright 1994 Inter-Parliamentary Union