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No Agreement on a New Nepal Constitution
Jan 29, 2015

Nepalese lawmakers have failed to agree on a new constitution as the political parties remained at loggerheads over basic issues. Another deadline for drafting a new constitution for the Himalayan nation was missed on January 22 as the main political parties squabbled amongst themselves over key issues.

Following the abolition of the Nepalese monarchy in 2008, the country elected a Constituent Assembly (CA), with the Maoists' political party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal–Maoist (UCPN-M), winning a majority of the seats. However, that CA was dissolved four years later, mainly because of its inability to reach a consensus.

In the subsequent November 2013 elections, the more conservative Nepali Congress (NC) and the Communist Party of Nepal–United Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) overshadowed the UCPN-M and formed a coalition, temporarily alleviating the political deadlock in the Himalayan nation. However, the new CA has also been struggling to draft a new constitution.

A key sticking point concerns internal borders, with the opposition pushing for provinces to be created along lines that could favor historically marginalized communities.

A missed deadline will prolong instability and deliver yet another blow to an economy which has seen annual GDP growth plummet from 6.1 percent in 2008 to 3.6 percent in 2013, according to World Bank data.


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