After years of debate, Nepal is celebrating a new constitution. Out of the 598 members of the Constituent Assembly, 507 voted for the new constitution, 25 voted against, and 66 abstained in a vote on September 16, 2015.
The Interim Constitution of 2007 ended the monarchy and made Nepal a republic, but this constitution finally ended the chances of a monarchical revival.
President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav before the promulgation of new constitution in Nepal
CA chairman Subash Chandra Nemwang and leadrers waiting the president before the promulgation
Under the constitution, Nepal’s new federal structure will see the country divided into seven provinces, with clear lists of legislative powers for the central, provincial, and local bodies. The Tharu and Madhesi groups had contended that provinces should be demarcated based on the concentration of ethnic populations, which are spread east to west in the southern part of the country. The three major parties, the Nepali Congress (NC), Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML), and the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M), objected to this idea, arguing that fulfilling such a demand would cause other protests and violence demanding still more ethnically-based provinces.
The country with the largest Hindu majority will continue to be a secular state with a special definition of the term: “respecting pre-historic traditions and religious and cultural freedoms.” Hindu fundamentalists hosted protests against secularism until the end. They expressed dissatisfaction both to India — which some Hindu groups thought would intervene at the last minute to make Nepal a Hindu state — and to leaders of the main three political parties.
People celebrating new constitution promulgation in Mirmee, Nepal.
The other main characteristic of the new constitution is inclusiveness. The existing state structure is dominated by one particular community; others are deprived proportional representation, including in the elected bodies, in the current unitary structure. Changes to this structure began in 2007 with the promulgation of the Interim Constitution and the new constitution emphasize the continuation of inclusivity, keeping in mind the rights of women, the disabled, sexual minorities, and other similar groups.
See video celebration in Mirmee, https://www.facebook.com/164431013612572/videos/904525682936431/