Nepal briefs envoys on new Constitution

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Kathmandu, Sept 16: Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey on Wednesday briefed envoys, including from India, China and the US, about the unveiling of the long-awaited new Constitution on September 20 and sought support from the international community on the matter.

During the meeting, the Foreign Minister briefed the envoys about the ongoing Constitution promulgation process and the efforts being made to hold dialogue with the disgruntled political parties, which are protesting the proposal to split Nepal into seven provinces as part of a federal state.


Heads of foreign diplomatic missions, including India, China, US, Germany were invited during the briefing, said Dinesh Bhattarai, the Prime Minister's foreign affairs advisor.

Sushil Koirala-led coalition government and the political parties have called the people to celebrate September 20 as the Constitution Promulgation Day in a grand manner by lighting colourful lights.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to bring disgruntled Madhesi parties in the dialogue table so as to forge broader agreement on the final draft of the new Constitution. Informal talks are underway with moderate groups of Madhes such as Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum Democratic and diplomatic activities are also underway for the same.

Party insiders say that some moderate Madhesi groups may join the Constitution making process in the last minute if some of their demands are addressed through amendment to the draft constitution.

Clause-wise voting on the final draft of the Constitution is being held in the 601-member assembly as part of the Constitution-making process.

Out of a total of 598 valid members of the assembly, only 538 members are taking part in the voting as 60 others belonging to the Madhesi parties are boycotting the vote.

The Madhesi Front has been launching intensified protests in southern Nepal against the new constitution that proposes to split Nepal into seven provinces as part of a federal state.

The main political parties agree on seven federal states, but smaller parties and ethnic groups oppose either the number or the structure of the states.

The month-long violent protest campaign launched by the Madhesi Front and the Tharuhat Struggle Committee in southern and western Nepal has so far claimed more than 40 lives.


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