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Nepal By-Elections of April 27th 2024: Replacement of Sudurpaschim Provincial Assembly Member

© People waiting for their turn to cast a vote in the by-elections of Bajhang 1(A) constituency. Photo source: philipsmith via Flickr. April 15th, 2008.

Nepal By-Elections of April 27th 2024: Replacement of Sudurpaschim Provincial Assembly Member


Written by Pauliina Majasaari (East Asia Team)

Global Human Rights Defence

Nepal held elections on April 27th, 2024, to elect a replacing member in Bajhang constituency 1(A) for the Sudurpaschim Provincial Assembly. The election is taking place as the former member, Prithvi Bahadur Singh, also a provincial cabinet Minister for Interior Affairs and Law, was killed in a vehicle accident in June 2023.[1] With the election code of conduct in force, the elections will be held in a fair, safe, and credible environment.[2] This is of crucial importance as, at times, during past elections the political parties displayed derogatory behaviour towards each other and engaged in tense communication.


State power in Nepal is divided into three separate levels of government, namely the federal, provincial, and local.[3] All levels have the power to legislate on certain matters within predetermined jurisdiction and every province has its own unicameral legislative body called the Provincial Assembly.[4] The assembly holds twice the number of members that would be elected from the province to the House of Representatives.[5] In total, there are 550 members across the seven provinces in Nepal, and the Sudurpaschim province holds 53 members.[6] Moreover, the Sudurpaschim province is divided into two constituencies, the Bajhang 1(A) and the Bajhang 1(B). The former is subject to the by-elections. The members of the provincial assembly hold five-year-terms.[7]


In the past, the Bajhang 1(A) had representatives from the CPN-UML, the Nepal Communist Party, and, most recently,  the Nepali Congress. Within the Bajhang 1(A) provincial assembly elections, 12 candidates have registered with the Elections Commission of Nepal.[8] The key political parties’ candidates of  the April elections are The Nepali Congress, the CPN UML, and the CPN-Maoist Centre. The Nepali Congress, with which the late member of the provincial assembly was affiliated, has nominated Abhishek Bahadur Singh, the son of the deceased member.[9] The CPN UML chose Daman Bahadur Bhandari, while the Maoist Centre fielded Janak Bahadur Budha as their candidate.[10] Contrary to the Ilam-2 by-polls, the CPN-Maoist Centre and CPN-UML both proposed candidates and therefore will be facing each other within the Bajhang 1(A) by-elections. In addition to the major political parties’ candidacies, other parties have fielded their candidates for the upcoming elections. These include the CPN (Unified Socialists), Janata Samajwadi Party Nepal, Federal National Forum, Rastriya Matribhoomi Party, and the National Republic Party.[11] By having representation of multiple political parties for the vacant position, the people of the Bajhang 1(A) constituency are given the opportunity to elect a candidate which reflects their views in the best possible manner.


The election race will be tight between the key political parties, as the Nepali Congress candidate Abhiskek Bahadur is popular amongst the voters and the CPN-UML holds a strong party organisation within Bajhang 1(A).[12] Moreover, the CPN-Maoist Centre candidate, Janak Bahadur Budha has been an influential leader within the district in addition to having a background as a Constituent Assembly member.[13]


Main take-aways of the upcoming provincial assembly by-elections 2024:

  1. Date
    The Bajhang 1(A) by-elections were held on April 27th, 2024.
  2. Why by-elections?
    A former elected member of the Sudurpaschim Provincial Assembly of the Bajhang 1(A) constituency passed away. By-elections were held to replace the vacant seat within the assembly.
  3. Key parties and candidates:

     CPN-UML: Daman Bahadur Bhandari

    CPN-Maoist Centre: Janak Bahadur Budha

    Nepali Congress: Abhishek Bahadur Bhandari



[i] ‘By-elections in Ilam and Bajhang on April 27’ (The Kathmandu Post, 26 February 2024) <> accessed 24 April 2024.

[ii] ‘By-polls: code of conduct comes into force’ (The Annapurna Express, 10 April 2024) <> accessed 24 April 2024.

[iii] Khim Lal Devkota, ‘Law-Making Processes in Federal Nepal’ (Georgia State University, May 2022) International Center for Public Policy: Working Paper 22, 13.

[iv] Kumaripati Lalitpur, ‘Functioning of, and Participation in, Provincial Assemblies’ (Democracy Resource Centre Nepal, February 2020) A Study Report, 1.

[v] Khim Lal Devkota (n ii).

[vi] Kumaripati Lalitpur (n iii) 7.

[vii] ibid.

[viii] ‘Much anticipated by polls kick off with nominations’ (The Kathmandu Post, 7 April 2024) <> accessed 24 April 2024.

[ix] Rastriya Samachar Samiti, ‘NC pick candidate for Ilam-2, Bahang-1 ‘A’’ (Nepal News, 5 April 2024) <> accessed 24 March 2024.

[x] ‘Much anticipated by polls kick off with nominations’ (n vii).

[xi] ‘Bajhang by-elections: 12 candidates register candidacy’ (Online Radio Nepal, 7 April 2024) <> accessed 24 April 2024.

[xii] Sailendra Rokaya, ‘By-election compels leaders to be loyal to voters in Bajhang’ (Rising Nepal Daily, 19 April 2024) <> accessed 24 April 2024.

[xiii] ibid.



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