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National Assembly Elections Nepal 2024: The Maoist-Centre Now Holding Majority in the National Assembly, Forms a Ruling Left Alliance Within the Government

© Casting a vote. Element5 Digital via Pexels. October 30th, 2018.

National Assembly Elections Nepal 2024: The Maoist-Centre Now Holding Majority in the National Assembly, Forms a Ruling Left Alliance Within the Government


Written by Pauliina Majasaari (East Asia Team)

Global Human Rights Defence


Nepal held elections on January 25th, 2024, in which the members of the National Assembly (NA), also known as the upper House of the Parliament, were elected. The NA consists of 59 lawmakers, of which 20 seats were vacant, as the term of those seats expired on March 3rd, 2024. 19 seats of the NA were filled through elections, which correspond to the seven provinces in Nepal, while one seat was nominated by the President upon a recommendation from the government. The members of provincial assemblies, mayors and/or chairpersons, and deputy mayors and/or vice-chairpersons from the local levels voted to elect the members of the NA.


1 Background and candidates

The following section will shed light on the candidates running for the elections and a narrow insight into the history of former alliances between political parties in the government of Nepal. The seats were divided between four different political parties, resulting in the Maoist-Centre holding a majority after the elections. Ruling alliances within the NA are not rare, with the Left Ruling Alliance back in power. However, alliances are more of a power move rather than an effort to build long lasting relations with other political parties.


The candidates for the NA elections comprised of 51 candidates in total, coming from eight different political parties. Within the elections held, the Nepali Congress won ten seats, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) received five seats, the Communist Party Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) won two seats, and the Janata Samajwadi Party secured one seat. After the elections, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) held the majority of seats in the NA, with a total of 18 seats. Narayan Dahal of the Maoist Centre was elected as the chairperson of the upper house of the federal parliament.


The NA has been comprised of ruling alliances three times since the elections in November 2022, and the Left Alliance government is back in Nepal again, comprising four parties, the Maoist Centre Party, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML)), the Janta Samajwadi Party (People’s Socialist Party), and the Swatantra Party (Liberal Party). Before this ‘left alliance,’ the Maoist Centre was in coalition with the Nepali Congress, as the Maoist Centre was supporting the Nepali Congress in the presidential elections. However, after the January NA elections, the Maoist Centre cut ties with the Congress due to several reasons, such as power sharing and ideological differences, and formed a coalition with its former rival, the CPN-UML. However, it is predicted that within the upcoming months or years, the Maoist Centre will most likely affiliate itself with the Nepali Congress again. The shifting between coalitions of political parties is mainly a power move rather than an attempt to build longer-lasting alliances within the government. The ruling alliance made an eight-point power-sharing agreement in which they state that the coalition has been formed among like-minded parties who aim for good governance, development, social justice, and prosperity. Additionally, as part of the agreement, their aim is to protect and promote the sovereignty and national integrity of Nepal.


2. Implications

The following will set out the plausible human rights and foreign relations implications resulting from the elections held in Nepal. As such women’s rights and minority rights are underrepresented within the upper House, however economic and social rights may be on the rise due to a National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights adopted by the Neplese government. The upkeep of democracy within the government can be unstable due to the ruling alliance’s communist views. When it comes to Nepal’s foreign relations, closer ties might be developed with China, possibly leading to the rise of ultra-nationalistic views, which could have repercussions for the minority groups living in Nepal.


2.1 Human Rights

In line with the aims of Nepal’s upper house coalition on social justice and development, the Government of Nepal and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, and Social Security have published the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights (NAP), which is a major milestone in addressing and promoting responsible business ventures. This initiative aims to foster economic growth while simultaneously strengthening  human rights standards in Nepal. The NAP is aligned with international human rights standards, such as the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, which set duties on the government to address and fulfil human rights within six different areas: labour rights, migrant workers’ rights, consumer protection, Indigenous People’s rights and environment, women and children’s rights, non-discrimination, gender, and social inclusion. These areas are crucial for the private actors within the business sphere to act responsibly, as vulnerable persons, such as children, migrants, women, sexual minorities, and Indigenous People are most susceptible to exploitation and infringements on their human rights by such actors. In case Nepal can fully implement the NAP, the effects on social and economic rights of its citizens will be uplifted, as core rights related to employment, social inclusion, equal access to education, and health care will be ensured.


Even though the NA has a representation from women, Dalits, and marginalised groups within its members, Bimala Rai Paudyal, a former member and an expert on women’s rights of the NA, has expressed the need for more women and individuals from marginalised groups who are experts in increasing and strengthening their respective rights to uphold the rights, especially when drawing up measures which affect them. As for now, this is not the case, and thereby the representation of women’s rights as well as minority rights within the NA is not maximised. Therefore, improvements in such fields of human rights can be lacking within the term of the current government.


While the pro-democracy Nepali Congress is not part of the ruling alliance at the moment, the upper house members reflect views on both communism and democracy. Fortunately, the Maoist Centre left out the Rastriya Prajatantra Party from the ruling alliance, as their main goal is to restore the monarchy and bring back the Hindu state. This can be interpreted as a sign of the ruling alliance’s aims to uphold the democratic government in Nepal. Furthermore, the Swatantra Party claims its guiding principles are based on democratic values, and it holds similar views to the Nepali Congress, raising hopes of maintaining the democratic values within the Nepali government. However, the communist parties have been criticised for not being democratised enough to have the will to push democratic views forward within the newly elected NA. Having parties which reflect views on upholding democracy is of crucial importance as Nepal has only been a democratic state since 2008. This coincides with the civil rights of people to run for elections as well as vote for their representatives in the government. However, as the party with the most power in the NA holds communist views, the upholding of democratic values within the government could be unstable.


2.2 Foreign Relations

The CPN-UML, a member of the left alliance, advocates for closer ties with China and shares the same ideological and extra-nationalistic views. This might lead to Nepal having closer relations with China and bring about implications for Tibetan refugees residing in Nepal. China wishes to create an extradition treaty with Nepal relating to the Tibetan refugees, aiming to control and criminalise the ‘Free Tibet’ movement. This would result in the obstruction of Tibetan refugees’ rights to self-determination and their much-wanted autonomy. Additionally, promoting such ultra-nationalistic views could boil over into increasing discriminatory actions towards the minority groups, such as the Dalits, in Nepal. This would interfere with the minority groups’ rights of non-discrimination, access to public services, economic opportunities, including employment and fair wages, and being free from forced labour.



  1. Political parties within NA after the Elections:
    Nepali Congress won ten seats, the Maoist Centre received five seats, the Unified Marxist Leninist won two seats, and the Janata Samajwadi Party secured one seat. A Left Alliance was formed between the aforementioned parties with the addition of the Swatantra Party.
  2. The newly formed NA gives rise to communist views:
    As the majority party within the NA, the Maoist-Centre holds communist
  3. Foreseen improvements in human rights:
    Within the NAP, adopted by the government of Nepal, socio-economic rights will be on the rise, such as core rights related to employment, social inclusion, equal access to education, and health care.
  4. Relations with China might be increasing:
    As the second largest party, ULM, is an advocate for closer ties with China, which might ultimately lead to strengthening the Nepal-China relations. As a consequence, Tibetans and individuals from Nepal’s minority groups, such as Dalits, might suffer from the ultra-nationalistic views held by the UML and China.


Anita Shrestha, ‘Dalits in Nepal: Story of Discrimination’ HURIGHTS OSAKA (December 2002, Volume 20) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Binod Ghimire, ‘New coalition partners cement comradeship with 8 – point deal’ The Kathmandu Post (5 March 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Huaxia, ‘Nepal elects new upper house chair’ (12 March 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Kamal Dev Bhattarai, ‘Explainer: Why Did Nepal’s Prime Minister Suddenly Change his Coalition Partners?’ The Wire (7 March 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Narayan Upadhyay, ‘Ruling Alliance on Rocky Route’ Rising Nepal Daily (26 March 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


‘Nepal Government Unveils National Actions Plan on Business and Human Rights’ UNDP (23 January 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


‘Nepal’s ruling alliance wins 18 out of 19 seats in the National Assembly polls’ The Hindu (26 January 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Rishi Gupta, ‘The Return of the Left alliance in Nepal changes Regional Power Dynamics’ The Diplomat (6 March 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Thira Lal Bhusal, ‘National Assembly can serve as a coordinating body between federal units’ The Kathmandu Post (14 January 2024) <> accessed 9 April 2024.


Thira Lal Bhusal, ‘Our democracy will function only if communists are democratised’ The Kathmandu Post (20 August 2023) <> accessed 9 April 2024.

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