Nepal political parties reached agreement on proposed Constitution framework

Jun 10, 2015 12:00 IST

Major political parties of Nepal on 9 June 2015 reached an agreement on the proposed framework of national Constitution providing for federal structure, form of governance, electoral and judicial systems.

The agreement was signed in the capital Kathmandu by the leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress (NC), the main opposition Unified Communist Party of Nepal (UCPN) – Maoist and two other major political parties in the Constituent Assembly.

Key Features of the Agreement

• Nepal will be divided into eight federal states whose names and boundaries will be decided by separate bodies.
• A new federal commission will be tasked with drawing up internal borders and submit a proposal for approval in the Parliament.
• Nepal will continue with its current system of national governance which includes executive Prime Minister and ceremonial President.
• The parties agreed to conduct elections to local bodies which were held for the last time in 1997.
The final draft of the constitution, which must be approved by a two-thirds parliamentary majority, is expected to be ready by July 2015.

Comment

The political parties were compelled to show unity and expedite the process of writing a new constitution after the April 25 earthquake as the lack of legitimate political and administrative structures at the National and Local level has been hampering the relief operations. April 25 earthquake killed an estimated 8500 people and affected some 10 million people (about half of the population).

The end of deadlock since 2008 on a new Constitutional framework, however, leaves the crucial issue of the provincial borders unresolved. This could give rise to problem in future as for long time UCPN (Maoist) had been pushing for new provinces to be created along lines that could favour historically marginalised communities, and other parties like NC argues that the move would be divisive and a threat to national unity.

Nepal started the work on a new national Constitution in 2008 following a decade-long Maoist insurgency that left an estimated 16000 people dead and brought down the monarchy.

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Read more Current Affairs on: Nepal Constitution , federal structure , UCPN (Maoist) , Nepali Congress

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