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Nepal parliament discusses new constitution

The interim constitution is expected to slice off most of the powers of King as also stripping him of the position of the head of the state.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 13:54 IST

Nepal's House of Representatives began discussions on Monday on the Interim Constitution that will be promulgated later in the day paving the way for the formation of a new House of 330 members including 83 Maoists.

The interim constitution is also expected to slice off most of the powers of King Gyanendra as also stripping him of the position of the head of the state.

After the endorsement of the Interim Constitution, the reinstated HOR will be dissolved and an Interim House with 330 members will be constituted that will include the Maoists for the first time as part of the ongoing peace process.

Top Maoist leaders including chairman Prachanda and his deputy Baburam Bhattarai will not join the new Parliament. The Nepali Congress party and the CPN-UML have been alloted 85 and 83 seats respectively.

The interim statute was introduced in the House of Representatives (HOR) by Minister for Law and Justice on behalf of Prime Minister GP Koirala for discussion.

Members of Parliament including former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba of Nepali Congress (Democratic), Sushil Koirala of Nepali Congress and Bharat Mohan Adhikary of Communist Party Nepal-UML (CPN-UML) took part in the discussion.

The interim parliament will promulgate the interim constitution on Monday that would facilitate the inclusion of the Maoists in the cabinet. The interim constitution will facilitate the holding of the constituent assembly elections in mid-June to draft a new constitution.

In the aftermath of the 'People's Movement' in April the reinstated HOR has ended most of the powers of the King through a parliamentary declaration on May 18 and made the people the sovereign source of power in the country.

All powers as head of the state that was earlier with the King will now be enjoyed by the Prime Minister as per the new constitution.

The eight major political parties including the Maoists have agreed to decide the fate of monarchy by the first meeting of the constituent assembly.