Why did Nepal remove ‘federal democratic republic’ from its ‘official’ name? Foreign affairs minister explains

Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali

Kathmandu, November 9

In the recent weeks, there has been a debate on social media about the government directive that instructed all local governments to mention ‘Nepal’ only, not the ‘Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal’, as the country’s official name.

Whereas some people viewed the directive was okay as ‘Nepal’ would be enough to refer to the country, many questioned if the government was not committed to the federal democratic republican system of governance institutionalised by the 2015 constitution.

Alarmed by the debate, the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee in the House of Representatives summoned Foreign Affairs Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali to explain the decision on Monday.

During the meeting, the minister clarified, “Nepal’s official name is Nepal itself; there is no need to add any other adjective.”

He explained the government had never decided to adopt ‘the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal’ as the official name. Neither does the constitution categorically mention the country’s name to be so.

But still, some people and agencies used ‘Nepal’ as its formal name and some others ‘The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal’. Therefore, the government tried to make it consistent with ‘Nepal’ only, according to him.

This decision was just about the name and not about the form of governance, he said, adding efforts to connect it to the forms of governance were inappropriate.

“The political system (of the federal democratic republic) can be changed only with an amendment to the constitution backed by the two-thirds majority lawmakers,” he said.

Committee doesn’t accept

Meanwhile, the committee did not accept Gyawali’s explanations and directed the government to not implement the decision to write ‘Nepal’ only for the official name now.

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