Referendum to decide fate of monarchy: Interim statute
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Referendum to decide fate of monarchy: Interim statute

A draft interim Constitution presented to Govt and Maoists has proposed holding of a referendum to decide the fate of monarchy.

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 16:14 IST

A draft interim Constitution presented to representatives of Nepal government and Maoists has proposed holding of a referendum to decide the fate of the 238-year old monarchy in the Himalayan country.

"Article 165 of the interim constitution recommends that whether to continue with the institution of monarchy or to go for a republican setup would be decided by a referendum to be held along with the Constituent Assembly elections," a member of the Interim Constitution Drafting Committee (ICDC) said.

The 76-page draft constitution was presented yesterday by Laxman Prasad Aryal, chairman of the 16-member ICDC, to Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitoula and Chief of the Maoist negotiating team Krishna Bahadur Mahara.

The draft statute also does not give any title of "Shree Panch" or His Majesty to the King, nor does it give any space to the queen, crown prince and other royalty.

It contains a provision to form an interim legislature with political consensus and the dissolving of the present House of Representatives, a key demand of the Maoists.

The interim legislature's chairman will take charge as Head of State in case monarchy is abolished before the constituent assembly makes any alternative arrangement, according to the document.

The preamble of the Constitution says that sovereignty and state authority will vest upon the Nepalese people, said Parashuram Jha, one of the members of the draft committee.

The Constitution would be promulgated through the Parliament, as per the provision of the draft.

Prime Minister will be the Supreme Commander-in-Chief as per the draft and the cabinet can appoint and sack the Commander-in-Chief of the Nepalese Army.

The draft statue has added more fundamental rights and guaranteed press freedom and protection against pre-publication censorship.

The draft makes no discrimination between men and women in salary and social security in the work.

It guarantees total freedom of press including, print, electronic and digital and also protects press against cancellation of registration in any way.

The draft will take the final form after the seven party alliance and the Maoists agree on some key issues including monarchy and interim Parliament.

First Published: Aug 26, 2006 16:14 IST