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'New constitution for Nepal soon'

world Updated: Jan 13, 2009 17:54 IST
Anirban Roy
Anirban Roy
Hindustan Times
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As people of Nepal are worried with the dilly-dally in constitution writing process, newly-elected chairman of the Constitutional Committee Madhav Kumar Nepal on Tuesday promised to draft the new constitution within the stipulated time.

The Constituent Assembly on May 28 last year declared Nepal as a federal democratic republic and vowed to write a new pro-people constitution. The government had also vowed to complete the process of drafting the new constitution by May 2010.

However, due to growing differences between the major political parties, the process of drafting the constitution was delayed.

“Today I have realized that it is a big challenge to be the chairman of constitution drafting committee,” Nepal told journalists after winning the election on Tuesday.

Nepal, who is a former general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal (UML), voted out his opponent Bishbendra Paswan by a huge margin.

“We can speed up the work for constitution-drafting if the political parties work seriously and have trust on each other,” Nepal said, adding that the process of consultation for constitution drafting would begin soon.

In addition to the political differences, the growing political demands of different ethnic groups across Nepal, is likely to be major hurdle in the constitution drafting process.

Several ethnic groups have already put forwards their demands, and have asked for a larger share and space in the Himalayan nation’s new political domain. Some of them have even demanded for larger geographical territories in Nepal’s new federal format.

“We want the government to write a people-friendly constitution. We do not want the government to appease only a section of progressive and socio-economically developed communities,” Kishore Biswas, a political activist, fighting for minority rights said.

Meanwhile, the Nepali Congress, which is the largest and strongest opposition party in Nepal, is likely to extend all possible help to the constitution drafting committee. It had earlier promised to work seriously for drafting the new constitution.

Moreover, the Nepali Congress is also not opposed to Madhav Kumar Nepal as the chairman of the constitution drafting committee.