Current position:Home page > Press center7 > Nepal country profile text

Nepal country profile

time:2023-06-01 17:18:15 source:The Guardian

With its ancient culture and the Himalayas as a backdrop, landlocked Nepal was closed to the outside world until the 1950s.

Since then the country has seen the creation of a multi-party parliamentary system, a decade-long Maoist insurgency, and the abolition of its monarchy.

Flanked by China and India, it is home to eight of the world's highest mountains including Mount Everest, known locally as Sagarmatha.

As one of the world's poorer countries, Nepal's economy relies heavily on aid and tourism.

A devastating earthquake in April 2015 killed thousands of people, flattened villages and reduced numerous heritage sites to ruin.

President: Bidhya Devi Bhandari

Bidhya Devi Bhandari was elected as Nepal's first woman president in a parliamentary vote in October 2015. She was deputy leader of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) and a former defence minister.

She is a campaigner for women's rights and widow of late communist leader Madan Kumar Bhandari.

The post of president is mainly ceremonial.

Prime minister: Pushpa Kamal Dahal

Veteran Nepali politician Pushpa Kamal Dahal was sworn in as prime minister in December 2022. He previously held the prime ministerial post from 2008 to 2009, and again from 2016 to 2017.

After power sharing talks between the outgoing Democratic Left Alliance broke down in December 2022 after the November general elections, Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre)chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal became prime minister of a coalition government consisting of the MPs from his own party, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), Rastriya Swatantra Party and Janamat Party, along with the support of others.

The Nepali Congress and the main communist parties, along with their smaller parliamentary allies, have alternated in power since the fall of the monarchy.

Congress is more aligned with India, whereas the communist parties aim to include Nepal in China's overseas infrastructure investment programmes.

Media freedom is restricted by the fact that journalists have been the victims of violence, activists say.

There is a small film industry, nicknamed "Kollywood".

Some key dates in Nepal's history:

1768 - Gurkha ruler Prithvi Narayan Shah conquers Kathmandu and lays foundations for unified kingdom.

1814-16 - Anglo-Nepalese War; culminates in treaty which establishes Nepal's current boundaries.

1846 - Nepal falls under sway of hereditary chief ministers known as Ranas, who dominate the monarchy and cut country off from outside world.

1950 - Anti-Rana forces based in India form alliance with monarch.

1951 - End of Rana rule. Sovereignty of crown restored and anti-Rana rebels in Nepalese Congress Party form government.

1960 - King Mahendra seizes control and suspends parliament, constitution and party politics.

1991 - Nepali Congress Party wins first democratic elections.

1995-2006 - Maoist revolt and civil war which kills thousands.

2008 - Nepal becomes a republic after abolition of monarchy.

2015 New constitution adopted, the first in Asia to specifically protect gay rights.

Recommended content