Nepal’s Parliament approves new Constitution
Nepal’s Parliament has overwhelmingly approved a new constitution after seven years of painstaking efforts and deliberations.
The new Constitution was passed by a 507-25 vote in the 601-seat Constituent Assembly (CA) after the voting and is due to come into effect on 20 September 2015.
The lawmakers of CA from Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist–Leninist) and UCPN- Maoist supported the draft constitution.
It should be noted that this is fifth constitution enacted by Nepal. The previous four constitutions were enacted in 1959, 1962, 1990 and 1999.
Features of Nepal’s new constitution
- Establishes Nepal as secular and federal democratic republic. It moves away from the existing unitary structure.
- The constitution vest executive rights of the country on the Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister. While the President would be ceremonial head-of-the-state.
- It establishes bi-cameral federal parliament and split the country into seven federal provinces.
- It establishes competitive multi-party democratic system with periodic elections.
- Enshrines fundamental rights, civic freedom, human rights, voting rights and full press freedom etc to its citizens.
- It establishes independent, fair and competent judiciary in order to build the nation with the commitment to socialism based on rule of law and democratic norms and values.
- The new Constitution has been drafted by second Constituent Assembly (CA) which was elected in 2013. Chairman of CA was Subash Nemwang.
- The first CA established 2008 after the abolishment of the Himalayan country’s 240-year-old Hindu monarchy was not able to finish its task despite four extensions.