Nepalese legislative election, 1994

Nepalese legislative election, 1994

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The 1994 Nepalese legislative election took place in Nepal on 15 November 1994 to elect the Nepal House of Representatives (Pratinidhi Sabha). The election took place after the previous Nepali Congress government collapsed and King Birenda called new elections. The results saw the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) win the most seats in the House of Representatives and Man Mohan Adhikari became Prime Minister at the head of a minority government.



King Birenda agreed to introduce democracy in 1990 and to become a constitutional monarch after increasing protests by the 1990 People's Movement.[1] The 1991 multi-party elections saw the Nepali Congress party win a majority with 112 of the 205 seats.[2] Girija Prasad Koirala was chosen by the Nepali Congress as their leader in parliament and was appointed Prime Minister.[3]

By 1994 the economic situation in Nepal had worsened and the opposition accused the government of being corrupt.[4] Divisions had also arisen within the Nepali Congress after Prime Minister Koirala was accused of helping to ensure that the president of the Nepali Congress, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, was defeated in a by-election in February 1994.[4] These divisions led to 36 Nepali Congress members of parliament abstaining on a parliamentary vote in July 1994 leading to the government losing the vote.[4] As a result Koirala offered his resignation as Prime Minister and King Birenda dissolved parliament with new elections called for the 13 November.[4] Koirala stayed on as caretaker Prime Minister until the election.[5]


The election saw 1,500 candidates spread over 24 parties competing for the 205 seats in the House of Representatives.[6] The leading two parties in the election were the governing Nepali Congress and the main opposition party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist).[6] The Nepali Congress called on voters to stick with their party and not to entrust power to a Communist party they accused of being irresponsible.[7]

The Communist party called for land reform to break up large landholdings and give land to landless Nepalese peasants.[8] Other pledges made by the party included running water and electricity for all voters and for each village to have at least one television.[9] While the party called for foreign investment to be somewhat restricted and for privitisations to be limited, they also stressed that they believed in a mixed economy and did not support nationalisation.[8] They accused the Nepali Congress government of having been incompetent and corrupt and said that a change in government was required.[7]

On election day itself there was some violence resulting in one death and another 15 people being injured.[10] 124 international election monitors observed the election and new polls were ordered in 31 constituencies where violence had occurred.[7]

Election results

The results saw the Nepali Congress party lose their majority in parliament and the Communist party became the largest group in the House of Representatives.[11] However no party won the 103 seats required for a majority on their own.[12] The pro-monarchy party, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, made significant gains winning 20 seats up from the 4 they had won in the previous election.[13] Voter turnout was 58% a decline from the 60% who had voted in the previous election in 1991.[7]

Party Leader Candidates Votes Seats
No. +− No. +− % No. +−
Nepali Congress Girija Prasad Koirala 205 +1 2,545,287 33.38 -4.37 83 -27
Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) Man Mohan Adhikari 196 +19 2,352,601 30.85 +2.87 88 +19
Rashtriya Prajatantra Party Surya Bahadur Thapa 202 * 1,367,148 17.93 +5.99 20 +16
Nepal Sadbhavana Party Gajendra Narayan Singh 86 +11 265,847 3.49 -0.61 3 -3
Sanyunkta Janamorcha Nepal Nirmal Lama 49 -21 100,285 1.32 -3.51 0 -9
Rashtriya Janamukti Party Gore Bahadur Khapangi 82 - 79,996 1.05 - 0 -
Nepal Workers and Peasants Party Narayan Man Bijukchhe 27 -3 75,072 0.98 -0.27 4 +2
Nepal Janabadi Morcha Ram Raja Prasad Singh 41 - 32,732 0.43 - 0 -
Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist) 49 - 29,571 0.39 - 0 -
Communist Party of Nepal (United) Bishnu Bahadur Manandhar 34 - 29,273 0.38 - 0 -
Nepali Congress (Bisheswar) Party 10 - 12,571 0.16 - 0 -
Rashtriya Janata Parishad 28 - 8,931 0.13 - 0 -
Janabadi Morcha (Nepal) 3 -11 3,681 0.05 +0.03 0 +0
Prajatantrik Lokdal 10 - 3,082 0.04 - 0 -
Nepal Praja Parishad 7 - 1,832 0.02 - 0 -
Rashtriya Janata Party 7 -2 1,525 0.02 -0.04 0 +0
Nepali Congress (B.P.) 2 - 840 0.01 - 0 -
Nepali Congress (Subarna) 4 - 484 0.01 - 0 -
Janata Dal (Sa. Pra.) Keshar Jung Rayamjhi 1 -14 404 0.01 -0.07 0 +0
Samyukta Prajatantra Party 1 - 218 0.00 - 0 -
Nepal Janahit Party 2 - 156 0.00 - 0 -
Radical Nepali Congress 1 - 53 0.00 - 0 -
Liberal Democratic Party 1 - 18 0.00 - 0 -
Independents 385 +166 471,324 6.18 +2.01 7 +4
Invalid votes 241,071 3.16 -1.26
Total: 7,625,348 100 205

Source: Election Commission of Nepal


Following the election the Communist party elected Man Mohan Adhikari as leader of the party in parliament and he attempted to form a minority government.[14] King Birendra asked both the Communists and the Nepali Congress party to explain to him why they should be allowed to form the government and then he would make a decision on who should be appointed Prime Minister.[13] The Nepali Congress attempted to form a deal with smaller parties including the Rastriya Prajatantra Party in order to try to stay in power.[13] However this was unsuccessful and Adhikari became Prime Minister at the head of a minority Communist government.[15] They therefore became the first elected communist government in a constitutional monarchy anywhere in the world[15] and the first communist government in Asia to come into power democratically.[12][16]

See also

  • Winners and runners-up in the legislative elections of Nepal 1994


  1. ^ "Nepal's King Gives Way to Multiparty Democracy". The New York Times. 1990-11-11. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  2. ^ "Nepal: Where Lenin Lives On". The Economist. 1992-04-25. p. 37. 
  3. ^ "NEPAL: parliamentary elections Pratindhi Sabha, 1991". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  4. ^ a b c d Thomas, Christopher (1994-07-12). "Nepal in turmoil as experiment with democracy turns sour". The Times. p. 41. 
  5. ^ "Nepal: The king and them". The Economist. 1994-07-16. p. 34. 
  6. ^ a b "NEPAL: parliamentary elections Pratindhi Sabha, 1994". Inter-Parliamentary Union. Retrieved 2009-05-21. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Nepal: Not very royal". The Economist. 1994-11-19. p. 37. 
  8. ^ a b Graves, Nelson (1994-11-19). "Communists pledge land reform as they get set for power". The Guardian. 
  9. ^ Lees, Caroline (1994-11-20). "Nepal turns to Lenin and TV". The Sunday Times. 
  10. ^ "News in brief: Nepal poll violence". The Guardian. 1994-11-16. 
  11. ^ "Communists win". The Guardian. 1994-11-23. 
  12. ^ a b Burns, John F. (1994-11-24). "Communists Plan to Form Government in Nepal". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 
  13. ^ a b c Thomas, Christopher (1994-11-26). "Nepal in chaos after Communist `victory'". The Times. 
  14. ^ "Nepal victors choose leader". The Guardian. 1994-11-24. 
  15. ^ a b Rettie, John (1994-12-02). "Communist poll winners take office in Nepal". The Guardian. 
  16. ^ Burns, John F. (1994-12-06). "In Nepal, Communists Take Power, but Very Cautiously". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-05-22. 

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