Disagreement over Nepal’s new constitution

Nepal opposition lawmaker

Nepal opposition lawmaker

Officials in the Nepal’s parliament had fights in the chambers making the police to arrest the different protesters in the capital as tensions rose before the deadline to draft a new national constitution. Lawmakers became violent and threw chairs and microphones in the chambers. They had attacked the parliamentary speaker. The Maoist opposition accused the ruling coalition of trying to push through their proposals without consensus. The deadline for the draft of the constitution was set on January 22. The different political parties have been conducting talks with each other in order to reach a consensus.

Thousands of police were deployed

Thousands of police were deployed

 

The political parties have been conducting its talks about the new constitution since the former kingdom’s first Constituent Assembly was elected in 2008. The deadlines have been already moved multiple times. The Maoist rebels negotiated last 2008 elections. They were able to get a peace deal after suffering from a long civil war, which killed more than 12,000 people. Representatives of the Maoist groups have been insisting to continue the discussions on the constitution. They wanted to reach an agreement despite the possibility of missing the deadline of the draft. They just want to make sure that their group is going to be taken into account. The difficulty however is that the ruling coalition has the backing of two-thirds of the members in the 605-member assembly. This could mean that the constitution is going to be passed even without the support of the Maoists. The Maoist lawmakers tried to get the support of the nation. They called a nationwide general strike in an effort to protest at the government’s decision. They were able to shut down factories, schools, shops and transport services. In fact, people were forced to stay at home because there was no transportation that could be seen. Thousands of police were deployed in the capital.

Images by BBC