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Agreement for New Constitution in Nepal
Jun 13, 2015

Nepal's main political parties have reached agreements on several disputed issues that could lead to the drafting of a much-delayed constitution in the Himalayan nation. The agreement was signed by leaders of the four main political parties—Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) and Terai-based Madhesi Front.

  • According to the agreement Nepal would have 8 federal states. 

  • A special commission will be formed to decide on the exact borders of the states, while their names will be decided by the state assemblies when they are elected.

  • Nepal’s political parties have earlier failed to arrive at a consensus during lengthy discussions on six-and eight-Province models. 

  • The four parties that signed the agreement have many more votes than the two-thirds of a majority in the 601-seat assembly that are needed to approve the draft.

  • The four major political parties also reached agreement to adopt a mixed electoral system.

  • 60 per cent of the lawmakers would be elected directly through the first-past-the-post system, and the remaining 40 per cent under the proportional electoral system.

Partisan political fighting has delayed an agreement on the constitution, which was initially supposed to have been drafted by 2010. The parties were unable to agree on the number of states, their formation and their names. Some of the political parties had insisted that the states had to be based on the ethnic groups represented in the area while others wanted them based on geographical terrain.

An attempt by the governing parties earlier this year to present a draft of the constitution in the Constituent Assembly ended in a violent protest inside the assembly. The protest spilled into street protests and a nationwide general strike.

A constitution was supposed to have been written by the Constituent Assembly that was elected in 2008 following the end of a 10-year Maoist insurgency and the overthrow of the centuries-old monarchy. But the assembly was riven by infighting and never finished its work. The current assembly was chosen in 2013, but has faced the same problem.


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