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 a forthcoming presentation, Tilak Pathak (above) will explain why campaign finance must be reformed in order to consolidate democracy in Nepal. An op-ed editor and analyst at Kantipur Daily, Nepal’s largest Nepali-language daily newspaper, and chair of the Kathmandu-based Center for Media Research, Pathak will draw from case studies gathered throughout his career in journalism, to trace the money behind Nepal’s elections and propose effective mechanisms that can help provide greater transparency and accountability.
His presentation will be followed by comments by Ivan Doherty, senior associate and director of political party programs at the National Democratic Institute.
The International Forum for Democratic Studies
at the National Endowment for Democracy
cordially invites you to a presentation entitled
“Consolidating Democracy in Nepal through
Transparent Campaign Finance”
Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow
with comments by
International Forum for Democratic Studies
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20004
RSVP (acceptances only) with name and affiliation by Monday, February 8
Livestream of the event will be available here.
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Mr. Tilak Pathak is an op-ed editor and analyst at Kantipur Daily, Nepal’s largest Nepali-language daily newspaper. He is also chair of the Center for Media Research, a Kathmandu-based think tank that conducts research and training related to media. He is also a lecturer on politics and the media at several Nepali universities. From 2013 to 2015 he served as political editor at Nagarik Daily, the country’s second-largest Nepali-language newspaper. He has co-authored two books in Nepali, Constituent Assembly Members on Federalism (2014) and Media Reader (2013), and published articles on media, political parties, constitution writing, and the peace process. During Nepal’s 2005 coup, Mr. Pathak co-founded “United We Blog,” a site that provided vital political information to the public during the country’s media shutdown. For his incisive reporting, he was named Best Reporter in 2005 by Kantipur Publications. During his fellowship, Mr. Pathak is writing a journal article on campaign finance reform and the need for financial transparency in Nepal’s political parties, comparing Nepali practices with policies enacted in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Asia. Ivan Doherty is senior associate and director of political party programs at the National Democratic Institute.