Nepal Adopts New Constitution

President Ram Baran Yadav signed the new Constitution replacing the interim Constitution following years of debate.  The Constitution was signed and announced by the President who was applauded by the members of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal in Kathmandu.

The new Constitution emphasizes on the status of Nepal as a Secular Democratic Republic.  It established seven provinces with provisions on protection of religion. The presidency will be a mostly ceremonial position, with real power vested in the parliament.  The President promised his nation that it “has now opened the path for development”.

But the new Constitution has deeply alienated much of Nepal’s southern plains and the Madhesi people there, who have said that it dilutes their representation. Critics have noted other flaws in the document, including a clause that denies equal citizenship for children born to Nepalese mothers and foreign fathers. Others, however, point to its progressive features, including the banning of capital punishment. It has been perceived as an  important step for the country to move forward and develop economically.