Nepal parties reach long-awaited deal

Nepal’s rival political parties have struck a historic agreement to end years of deadlock on a new constitution that will divide the country into eight provinces. This paves the way for a new federal structure.

Background:

  • Nepal’s lawmakers began work on a new national constitution in 2008 following a decade-long Maoist insurgency that left an estimated 16,000 people dead and brought down the monarchy.
  • But the political parties were unable to reach agreement and the resulting uncertainty left Nepal in a state of political limbo.

However, the agreement has left the crucial issue of the provincial borders unresolved — an omission which critics said would create future problems.

Details of the agreement:

  • Under the deal, Nepal will continue with its current system of national governance which includes an executive Prime Minister and ceremonial President.
  • A new federal commission will be tasked with drawing up internal borders and submit a proposal for approval in Parliament.
  • The agreement includes a commitment to hold the country’s first local elections since 1997.

Sources: The Hindu.

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