A day before the term of Nepal's Constituent Assembly was to expire, lawmakers amended the interim Constitution and extended the CA's term by six more months on Tuesday. The deadline now to write the Constitution is May 30.
Major political parties struck a six-point deal on Tuesday, reiterating their commitment to implement the November 1 peace agreement. Over the past three weeks, in line with the pact, Maoist combatants have chosen their options — either integration into the Nepal Army or voluntary retirement with cash packages — in cantonments across the country. After prolonged negotiations, a State Restructuring Commission has also been set up to come up with recommendations about the nature of federalism.
Parties have agreed to resolve remaining contentious issues of the peace process by mid-December, expedite Constitution writing, and step up efforts to form a national unity government.
While 505 out of 508 MPs present in the House supported the extension, three members of the monarchist Rashtriya Prajatantra Party (Nepal) opposed it. This is the fourth extension of the CA. Its original two-year term ended on May 28, 2010. It was extended for a year, and then twice for three months each. In a recent verdict, the Supreme Court declared that the CA can be extended one last time, and if it failed to write a Constitution, there should be fresh elections or referendum.
Keywords: Nepal political developments