Nepal

Monitoring Disorder in Nepal: A Joint ACLED, COCAP, and CSC Report (5 May 2022)

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Introduction

Nepal is holding elections across all levels of government in 2022. It is only the second time elections are being held since the promulgation of Nepal’s much-contested constitution in 2015. The outcome of these elections is likely to shape how lingering issues over the constitution and its provision of autonomy and rights for ethnic groups, including the people of Madhesh province, are addressed. Elections for Nepal’s National Assembly, the upper house in parliament, were already held on 26 January in which the Nepali Congress (NC)-led alliance made the biggest gains while the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) (CPN (UML)) lost seats. Local-level elections will be held on 13 May amid concerns that intra-party rifts will pose the biggest security threat for upcoming elections (Kathmandu Post, 6 April 2022).

Rivalries within and between political party factions vying for influence can often lead to violence in Nepal. As no single party holds the majority in parliament, alliances tend to form and splinter throughout election periods. The fragile nature of these alliances and coalitions, along with groups dissatisfied with the incomplete implementation of the restructuring of the state to provide more rights and autonomy to ethnic groups, raises concerns over the possibility of increased political disorder in the coming year. Using new data collected with ACLED’s local partners — Collective Campaign for Peace (COCAP) and Centre for Social Change (CSC) — this report examines political violence and demonstration trends in Nepal from 2018 to the present.