-  Monday 10 August 2020

Nepal parliament tells govt to prepare for republic

 -  AFP

Nov 05 2007 - The fate of Nepal's King Gyanendra looked bleaker Sunday after the country's parliament passed a proposal instructing the government to begin legal preparations to declare the country a republic.

"Parliament has passed a proposal to turn the country into a democratic republic and has asked the government to make the necessary arrangements," house speaker Subash Nemwang told AFP after the proposal tabled by the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) was passed by a majority voice vote.

The proposal was a compromise reached after Nepal's former rebel Maoists demanded that the monarchy be immediately scrapped and the voting system for cancelled polls be changed.

Sunday's proposal approval came after a special parliament session called by the Maoists to address their demands.

The Maoists and the CPN (UML) voted together against the Nepali Congress, the country's largest party, and the proposal was passed by a simple majority voice vote.

Because the compromise proposal was approved by a majority the Maoists proposals were not addressed, Nemwang said.

"Since this amended proposal of the CPN (UML) was approved by a majority of voice votes, it was no longer necessary to table the main proposal of the Maoists on immediate abolition of the monarchy," Nemwang said.

Gyanendra's fate was to have been decided by a body elected to rewrite the country's constitution, but now after the passing of the proposal it remains unclear what steps the country will need to take to become a republic.

"The passing of the proposal will give the government moral responsibility to amend the interim constitution to guarantee that the country becomes a republic," said Ram Baran Yadav, a senior leader from the Nepali Congress, the country's largest party.

"The approval of the proposal showed that parliament is in favour of a republic, but this is not a legally binding decision," he said.

The proposal approved by parliament Sunday also means that the voting system in constituent assembly elections that had been planned for June and then November this year will be changed.

The elections to vote for the body that will rewrite the constitution will now be fully proportional, instead of the hybrid first-past-the-post and proportional system planned in the country's interim constitution.

Source : AFP
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