Nepal’s Local Elections 2017 – Final Observation Report (November 2017)
One major feature of the new constitution promulgated in September 2015 was the restructuring of Nepal’s local government, including the devolution of power to newly created provinces and local units. After much deliberations and contestations, the constitutionally mandated Local Level Restructuring Commission finalized 743 local units. On February 20, 2017, the Government of Nepal announced the local elections for May 14, 2017, which were later broken into three phases due to political reasons. The first phase elections in provinces without Tarai districts (Provinces 3, 4, and 6) were held on May 14, and the second phase elections in the rest of the provinces except province 2 were held on June 28. The province 2 elections across eight Tarai districts were held on September 18. Democracy Resource Center Nepal (DRCN) observed all three phases of the local elections conducted for the first time in nearly twenty years, and the first one under the new constitution and new local structures.