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Committee to present partial interim Constitution draft

india Updated: Aug 09, 2006 13:14 IST

A committee drafting an interim Constitution for Nepal was set on Wednesday to present its first draft, more than a month behind schedule and missing key components, an official said.

Harihar Dahal, a member of the committee, said the draft does not cover key issues such as the role of the king, the interim Parliament and a proposed Constituent Assembly that would write a new Constitution.

The interim Constitution was scheduled to be presented by the end of June, but was delayed mainly because of disagreements among the seven parties in the ruling alliance and Maoist guerrillas who have joined a peace process aimed at ending their decade-old rebellion.

Dahal said even the seven parties had differing ideas of what should be in the interim Constitution.

"Without a political consensus between all these parties and forces we can't present a final draft, but we are going to present whatever we have prepared so far," Dahal said.

The government and the rebels had earlier agreed to prepare an interim constitution to be used until a Constituent Assembly, to be elected within the year, writes a new constitution for the Himalayan nation.

Emerging differences between the ruling alliance and the rebels have also slowed the peace process.

Earlier this week, Baburam Bhattarai, the rebels' second in command, warned that peace talks were on the verge of a collapse because of repeated violations of an earlier agreement with the government.

The peace talks have stalled mainly because the guerrillas have refused to disarm and disband.

The government side wants rebel weapons to be locked up before the proposed elections, but the insurgents say they will only go as far as allowing the UN to supervise the weapons' safekeeping inside secured camps.

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