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NEPAL: Timeline of the constitution dilemma

Source: IRIN - Thu, 1 Sep 2011 09:39 AM
Author: IRIN
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KATHMANDU, 30 August 2011 (IRIN) - The third deadline for a draft Nepal constitution expires on 31 August. While another three-month extension has been granted, the postponement underscores the country's fragile political state five years after the end of a decade-long civil war in which 13,000 people died. [ http://www.irinnews.org/InDepthMain.aspx?InDepthId=11&reportid=33611 ]. IRIN chronicles the country's often contentious path to a constitution: [ http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=92924 ] 22 November 2005: The Seven Parties Alliance (SPA) finalizes a 12-point agreement with the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in New Delhi, as a roadmap for resolving conflict and restoring a democracy in Nepal; 6 April 2006: Maoist-supported SPA declares a nationwide non-violent and peaceful pro-democracy people's movement; 24 April 2006: After the 19 days people's movement, referred to as Jana Andolan-II, King Gyanendra reinstates the old House of Representatives, which was dissolved in February 2005. The King calls upon the SPA to unify the nation. SPA accepts the reinstitution of Parliament; 26 April 2006: Maoists declare three months unilateral ceasefire, agreeing to peace talks with key demands to draw up a new constitution; 28 April 2006: Giraja Prasad Koirala, president of the Nepali Congress (NC) party, becomes the prime minister of the new government; 30 April 2006: The House of Representatives passes the Constituent Assembly (CA) unanimously; 3 May 2006: The government declares a ceasefire, removes the terrorist tags of the Maoists and invites the Maoist party for peace talks; 21 November 2006: The armed insurgency that began on February 1996 formally ends with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government and the Maoist party; 15 January 2007: The Interim Constitution is drafted by a committee headed by the late Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal replacing the 1990 Constitution; 23 January 2007: The UN establishes the political mission UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) after a request from the Maoists and the government; [ http://ochaonline.un.org/nepal/Resources/UNMIN/tabid/3693/language/en-US/Default.aspx ] 1 April 2007: The new government is formed and a date for CA elections is set for 20 June 2007; 13 April 2007: The Election Commission declares its inability to conduct the CA polls on 20 June and postpones the elections to November. 18 September 2007: Maoist ministers resign from the cabinet after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala rejects demands for a pre-poll proclamation of a republic; 5 October 2007: The CA elections, re-scheduled for 22 November 2007, are postponed indefinitely after crisis talks fail to bring the Maoist party back into the government; 30 December 2007: The Maoist party rejoins the government, making a deal to end the monarchy and setting a new date for the CA elections in April 2008; 10 April 2008: The election of the 601-member CA results in a Maoist majority and more social diversity in the government, increasing the representation of women and other minorities. The CA is mandated to draft a new constitution by 28 May 2010 to replace the Interim Constitution; 28 May 2008: During its first meeting, the CA votes overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing the 240-year-old Hindu monarchy and Nepal is declared a Federal Democratic Republic; 21 July 2008: The CA elects Ram Baran Yadav, leader of the NC party, as Nepal's first president; 15 August 2008: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is elected as Nepal's first Maoist prime minister; 4 May 2009: Dahal, also known as Prachanda, resigns less than nine months after coming to power, when the country's president blocks his move to fire the army chief; 23 May 2009: Madhav Kumar Nepal, chairman of the constitution-drafting committee, is elected as prime minister "unopposed", with the support of representatives from 22 political parties in the CA; 28 May 2010: The CA's initial deadline for a constitution is extended by one year; 30 June 2010: Nepal resigns under pressure from the opposition Maoist party but continues to serve as caretaker PM for seven months; 15 January 2011: UNMIN withdraws; 3 February 2011: The CA elects president of the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML), Jhala Nath Khanal, as PM to succeed his party's leader Nepal. Khanal agrees to step down by 13 August if no progress is made; 28 May 2011: The CA term and Interim Constitution expire for the second time; 29 May 2011: The CA extends the deadline for a constitution by three more months even though the Supreme Court of Nepal on 25 May 2011 ruled the initial 2010 extension was unconstitutional; 14 August 2011: Khanal resigns under intense pressure from his own party, CPN-UML but continues as caretaker PM until the new government is formed; 15 August 2011: President Yadav calls on the parties to form a national consensus government by 21 August, but negotiations fail even after an extension of three days. The president calls for a parliamentary vote for a majority government; 28 August 2011: Baburam Bhattarai, vice-chairman of the Maoist party, is elected the fourth prime minister; 29 August 2011: Parliament endorses the proposal to extend the CA term for a third time. The new deadline, as of 31 August, will be 30 November 2011. rs/nb/mw � IRIN. All rights reserved. More humanitarian news and analysis: http://www.IRINnews.org

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