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Due Date for Nepal Constitution to be finalized

May 28, 2010 - NEPAL

The deadline for the finalization of the Constitution of the Republic of Nepal to replace its Interim Constitution is 28 May 2010. There are fears that Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will declare a state of emergency if the Constituent Assembly fails to deliver it by the due date. An unmet deadline for a constitution acceptable to all parties could trigger another civil war, while increasing India's and China's tug-of-war for the Himalayan Kingdom.

The deadline for the finalization of the Constitution of the Republic of Nepal to replace its Interim Constitution is 28 May 2010. There are fears that Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal will declare a state of emergency if the Constituent Assembly fails to deliver it by the due date. An unmet deadline for a constitution acceptable to all parties could trigger another civil war, while increasing India's and China's tug-of-war for the Himalayan Kingdom. Democratically held elections in Apr 2008 ended the 239-year-old monarchy in the Himalayan nation, but did not end the instability. A peace deal in 2006 between Nepal's main political party and Maoist rebels led to the formation of a Constituent Assembly on 28 May 2008. At its meeting the Assembly declared the country a federal democratic republic and set a 2-year limit for drafting a constitution. The interim document gives executive power to the prime minister and cabinet, while legislative power is vested in 63-member Constituent Assembly led by Senior Nepali Congress leader Nilamber Acharya. In a growing sign of the worsening political climate, the Maoists have set up parallel governments in many parts of the country, declaring 13 autonomous states based on ethnicity. According to a Dec 22 Reuters explanation of the growing strife, the Maoists headed a coalition government last year after their surprise win in national elections under the 2006 peace deal, but quit the government in May after a failed attempt to sack the country's army chief. They have been protesting against President Ram Baran Yadavsince since then and want a return to power, saying they were "unconstitutionally" forced to quit. In December they gave the government a one-month deadline to pave the way for a unity government headed by them, and threatened a countrywide shutdown if the demand was not met. Reuters reports that the political deadlock has delayed the preparation of a new constitution and rehabilitation of thousands of ex-Maoist guerrillas living in camps, a pivotal part of the peace deal. ARTICLE SUPPLIED BY WORLD NEWS FORECAST CORRESPONDENT C.BALAJI, WHO IS AVAILABLE FOR FREELANCE ASSIGNMENTS IN INDIA AND THE REGION. email: mohanbalaji20032004@yahoo.co.in

Nepal Maoists set a month's deadline to return to power (Reuters 22 Dec 2009)

Nepal overcomes Maoist politics, for now (Radio Australia 26 May 2009)

NC leader elected head of Nepal Constitution-drafting body (Zee news 28 Aug 2009)

Nepal Prez lauds 1990 Constitution; Kishunji&rsquos B&rsquoday celebrated (Telegraphnepal.com)

New Nepal constitution to be ready by May 2010 (Reuters 17 Nov 2008)

Sino-Indian rivalry fuels Nepal's turmoil (atimes.com 14 Nov 2009)

Nepal Maoists Declare 'Madhesh Autonomous' State (outlookindia.com 18 Dec 2009)

Maoist-Led Strikes Endanger Nepal&rsquos Peace Process, Parties Say (Bloomberg 22 Dec 2009)

Date written/update: 2010-05-28