Nepal

Constitutional crisis deepens


Published

The constitutional crisis in Nepal is deepening with the deadline for the creation of a new constitution running out today and no signs of progress.

The Constitutional Assembly which had until today to produce a new constitution has been marred with problems including the setting of a budget, election of a prime minister and Cabinet appointments.

Following many years of war, a peace agreement was drawn between Maoist rebels and the government in 2006 which led to elections to the Constituent Assembly in 2008. The original deadline was in May 2010 but that was extended by one year.

The government has sought to extend the deadline again, but the opposition has put conditions on agreeing to this, namely the disarming of 19,000 former Maoist combatants currently confined to UN supervised camps. That is unacceptable to the Maoists.

If agreement is not reached today then Nepal will be left without a parliament and further political turmoil is bound to lead to greater national instability.

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