Kathmandu, Sep 20 (IANS) In a historic step, Nepal will promulgate its first full democratic constitution on Sunday drawn up after years of political infighting.
The new constitution, which defines the Himalayan nation as a secular country and federal republic with seven states, is the six-decade-long cherished dream of Nepalese to see a charter through the Constituent Assembly (CA).
Hundreds of thousands of people across Nepal were lighting lamps in the rejoice of the new constitution, even as the government declared public holiday on Sunday and Monday to mark the occasion.
President Ram Baran Yadav will promulgate the constitution, endorsed by over 90 percent votes in the CA, at a function in the assembly building.
Hundreds of security personnel have been deployed in capital Kathmandu to maintain law and order, as some parties and groups have been opposed to the new constitution.
Sections like Madheshis, Tharus, pro-Hindu and breakaway faction of UCPN (Maoist) have opposed the constitution.
Nepal has decided to opt for a secular, democratic, republicanism and federal structure in 2007 through the interim constitution. But with the installation of new constitution on Sunday, Nepal will formally institutionalise these four key highlights.
With the promulgation of the new constitution, there will be fresh election to the top posts like president, vice president, prime minister, speaker and deputy speaker of parliament within a month.
The assembly would dissolve and convert into a regular parliament.
According to the new constitution, the executive rights of the country shall vest on the council of ministers while the president would be ceremonial head-of-the-state.
The preamble of the new constitution says: “Realising a dream cherished by the Nepali people since the past 65 years, the new constitution will formally take the country towards a federal structure from the existing unitary structure that remained rooted in the country for 240 years.”
The new statute has proposed to federate the country into seven federal units, which will be one of the significant changes to occur on the basis of the new constitution.
The new constitution also expresses the determination to build an equitable society on the basis of the principle of proportional inclusion and participation, by ensuring economic equality, prosperity and social justice.
The preamble of the constitution also mentions people’s competitive multi-party democratic system, civic freedom, fundamental rights, voting rights, full press freedom, independent, fair and competent judiciary and building of a prosperous nation with the commitment to socialism based on rule of law.
In 2008, the Maoists had won elections to the constituent assembly, leading to the abolition of the 240-year-old monarchy. But amid squabbling, the assembly failed to draw up a new constitution.