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Nepal Adopts New Constitution
Sep 21, 2015

Nepal has formally adopted a new constitution nearly a decade after the country ended a long-running civil war. The document defines the majority Hindu nation as a secular republic divided into seven federal provinces. It was agreed by parliament last week, after years of political wrangling.

Key Features

  • The Constitution of Nepal 2015, with 308 Articles, 35 parts and nine schedules formally replaced the Interim Constitution 2007.

  • Nepal’s seventh Constitution in 67 years became unveiled by the President Ram Baran Yadav.

  • The promulgation marks the end of a nine-year transition riddled with uncertainty, especially in the wake of the failure of the first Constituent Assembly in May 2012.

  • Earlier the Nepali Parliament adopted the new Constitution by a 507-25 votes in the 601 seat Constituent Assembly.

  • It will create seven states in a secular, federal system, but is opposed by some groups who wanted to re-establish Nepal as a Hindu nation, and others who feel it is unfavourable to people in the plains, near India.

  • The seven-province federal model, three tiers of governance and inclusive commissions are the major provisions the new constitution has adopted.

  • The federal states will also largely have financial autonomy, and not just the political, where the provincial and local entities can collect revenues and spend them as they deem fit.

  • The constitution is the first in Asia to specifically protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. 

  • The state and the judiciary are prohibited from discriminating against sexual and gender minorities.

  • The rhododendron is the national flower, and the cow remains the national animal.

Nepal’s 239-year old monarchy was abolished in 2008, seven years after an unhinged crown prince killed the king and eight members of his family at the height of a Maoist uprising. The Maoists laid down their arms in 2006 and joined democratic politics in an India-brokered peace deal that paved the way for the Constitution. Wrangling hampered progress on the draft and several governments have come and gone in the interim. 

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