Nepal adopts new constitution

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Nepal received on Sunday its first constitution written by elected representatives, as President Ram Baran Yadav declared the new document released and implemented.

“I declare the new constitution implemented, before the people of Nepal,” Yadav said as he signed the document at a ceremony at the parliament building.

“With this, the people’s desire has received concrete shape. With this declaration, we’ve institutionalized federal democracy in Nepal.”

The constitution was adopted against the backdrop of violence, as the country’s southern plains remained crippled under over a month of strikes, in which about 40 people has already been killed.

A demonstrator was shot dead by police Sunday in the Birganj district in the Terai plains, where protesters clashed with police. Twelve other demonstrators were injured.

Terai’s Madheshi inhabitants, whose demand to demarcate states by ethnicity was rejected by the drafters of the constitution, oppose the charter and continue to press for their own autonomous state.

In announcing the adoption of the constitution, Yadav called “on all the Nepali people to live in harmony, tolerance and unity, to preserve the rights granted by the constitution.”

A new constitution was one of the provisions in the Comprehensive Peace Accord signed by the government and Maoist rebels in 2006, ending a decade-long civil war that killed over 17,000 people.

It took some seven years for negotiators to write the constitution amid disagreements over issues including the structure of the state and rights.

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