Consolidating democracy in Nepal through transparent campaign finance

Nepal’s democracy has struggled to deliver since its 2006 People’s Movement, which ended the decade long civil war and established Nepal as a republic. Plagued by corruption, nepotism, and an inability to execute basic duties of governance, the country’s leading political parties have often found themselves in a crisis of public trust that has strengthened the hand of ‘radical political parties and royalist forces seeking to destabilize the state.

During elections, the widespread practice of campaign spending at levels far exceeding legal limits through donations from undisclosed contributors has fueled popular frustration. Furthermore, this practice has distorted representative democracy through the sale of political office, thereby making financiers rather than ordinary citizens the key beneficiaries of the electoral process.

In his presentation at the National Endowment for Democracy, Washington DC, CMR-Nepal chairman Tilak Pathak explained why campaign finance must be reformed in order to consolidate democracy in Nepal. Drawing from case studies gathered throughout his career in journalism, he traced the money behind Nepal’s elections and proposed effective mechanisms that can help provide greater transparency and accountability. His presentation was followed by comments with Ivan Doherty.

Download the PDF of Pathak’s presentation here.

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