Glossary: panchayat

In ancient times, a Nepalese public assembly, ideally comprised of the five (pancha) most important caste or occupational groups in the village. A pancha is a member of a panchayat. From 1962 until the 1990 constitution took effect, assemblies modeled on this ancient system formed the backbone of political structure in Nepal, at the village and district levels, and at the top in the National Panchayat, or Rashtriya Panchayat.

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