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The Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2063 (2007) - As Amended by the First to Sixth Amendments
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In 1990 Nepal adopted its fifth – and first fully democratic – constitution. Although there were many good features about that constitution, it failed to satisfy the demands of many Nepali people. There was also a sense that the 1990 Constitution had limited involvement of the people in its making, and that it came formally into being not as an act of the people's sovereignty but as a gift of the King. Among the shortcomings of the Constitution in the eyes of many were the insistence that Nepal is a Hindu kingdom; the inclusion of many important economic and social rights as “directive principles" only, which means they were not able to be used as the basis for legal claims; inadequate provisions for civilian control of the army; excessive power given to the King; and provisions that were not clear enough about the King's powers, thus making it possible for those powers to be abused. Unfortunately, over the years no attempt was made to remedy the deficiencies of that constitution by amendment. To the faults of the constitution itself, and insufficient royal commitment to democracy, must be added grave failures of leadership, failure of political parties to make any serious effort to be representative of the nation as a whole, excessive domination of many sectors of national life by a minority of the community, and excessive concentration of powers in the hands of the Kathmandu authorities. All these were compounded by the ten-year Maoist insurgency. Matters were brought to a head by the King's seizure of all power in 2005.
The actions of the King finally led to a people's movement, jana andolan, in April 2006, and the King ultimately recalled the parliament originally elected in 1999. By then the Maoists had begun negotiations with the major political parties, in which the Maoists' main demands were republicanism and the convening of a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution. But the hundred of thousands who came out on the streets were demanding more than a restoration of democracy; they demanded greater inclusion of the various sectors of society marginalized in the past, including Dalits, Janajatis (ethnic groups), Madhesis (from the terai) and women. So the insistence was on breaking the monopoly of power by the certain privileged groups, inclusion of all groups in decision making, including in the Constituent Assembly, and rights for all. The Maoists in particular insisted that the 1990 Constitution could not continue to be the legal basis for governance, even for a transitional period. A decision was made to have an Interim Constitution.
#Constitution #RightsForAll
CCD/UNDP ,   (2009 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 UNDP : Social and Institutional Developoment
01.07.00  -  General And National Law
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