-  Tuesday 19 January 2021

Nepal interim statute on Jan 15

 -  Gulf Times

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s parliament will approve an interim constitution on January 15, government and Maoists said yesterday, paving the way for the former rebels to join the political mainstream.

“The top leaders of the seven parties and the Maoists on Monday reached an understanding to pass the interim constitution on January 15,” Pradeep Gyawali, minister for tourism and a government peace negotiator, said.

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chief Prachanda were present during the meeting yesterday between negotiators from both sides, he said.

Nepal’s Maoists last week said the government had endangered a power-sharing pact and elections by not sending an interim constitution agreed almost a month ago for parliamentary approval.

The power-sharing pact followed mass protests in April 2006 that led King Gyanendra to return power to parliament after 14 months of direct rule.

The rebels and the new parliament subsequently agreed to a ceasefire, a political process leading to elections by June 2007 and a constituent assembly that will rewrite the constitution and decide the monarchy’s fate.

Under the peace deal, agreed in November last year, the government has agreed to let the Maoists have 73 seats in a new 330-seat parliament in return for placing their arms and armies in camps under United Nations supervision.

Thirteen UN arms monitors have already arrived in Nepal and will operate in two teams, one from Kathmandu and the other from Nepalgunj, 510km (318mile) west of the capital.

Earlier this week, the United Nations said it was ready to start registration of Maoist and government weapons from mid-January as part of a historic deal to end Nepal’s decade-long civil war, which claimed at least 12,500 lives.

Gulf Times

Other articles by reporter Gulf Times

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