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Nepal’s New Constitution Is a Step Forward to Democracy

February 20

Nepal has achieved another milestone in the path of democracy overcoming prolonged political strife, ending monarchy, and successfully holding a series of elections.

The South Asian nation has adopted a new constitution carving the nation’s image as a secular democracy and proposing a new model of political structure for a multiethnic society.

The constitution passed by the Constituent Assembly last Sunday will meet many of the demands that came out of the 2006 Democracy Movement and the following political struggles.

Overcoming a last-minute hitch, the Assembly approved the new constitution supported by the three major political parties of Nepal.

The three prominent parties — the Nepali Congress, the Communist Party of Nepal, and the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) worked together to draft the constitution while some smaller parties opposed it.

Approval of a new constitution is being seen as a step forward towards establishing democracy in a country that has witnessed a prolonged, and sometimes violent, struggle that ended centuries-old monarchy followed by a series of political turmoils.

President Ram Baran Yadav of Nepal declared promulgation of his nation’s new constitution in a special ceremony on Sunday evening pronouncing “We believe that the adoption of the new constitution has now opened the path for development of the country.”

Analyzing the new constitution, the English language newspaper Napali Times commended its objectives:  “There is an attempt to make Nepali politics more inclusive, just, and focused on the welfare of the underprivileged.”

Emphasizing that the constitution “is a text that is flexible enough to be improved and amended, as most constitutions are supposed to be,” the editorial also suggested, “to keep the channels of communication open with the groups that have opted to stay out of the process.”

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Date: February 20