Nepal gets secular constitution

Kathmandu: Nepal on Sunday adopted a historic Constitution after seven years of painstaking deliberations marking its transition into a fully secular and democratic republic from a Hindu monarchy, amid violence by minority Madhesi groups over a seven province federal structure.
“I announce the presented constitution of Nepal, passed by the Constituent Assembly and authenticated by the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, effective from today, 20 September 2015, before the people of Nepal,” President Ram Baran Yadav said as he unveiled the statute in Parliament.
“I call for unity and cooperation of all at this historic moment,” he said at the special ceremony at the Constituent Assembly (CA) hall in Naya Baneshwor amid sporadic violence reported from southern areas bordering India where the minority Madhesi community is opposed to the idea of dividing the country into seven federal provinces.
National flags soared high and firecrackers went off as thousands of Nepalese thronged the streets to mark the Himalayan nation’s transformation into a secular, federal democracy from a Hindu monarchy. They also gathered in front of the Constituent Assembly hall in large numbers.
There were processions at different places of Kathmandu to celebrate the occasion, with people decorating streets and lighting candles with excitement of their own Constitution – the first to be drafted by elected representatives – after a 67 year-long democratic struggle.
The President added: “The Constitution is the common document of all of us to protect our freedom, independence, geographic integrity, and sovereignty in people.” With this the Interim Constitution has been annulled. President Yadav said the newly promulgated ‘Constitution 2072’ has institutionalised republicanism in the nation.
He expressed hope that the Constitution would bring peace and stability in the country and pave way for economic development and prosperity. “People have fought nearly for seven decade for democracy and lasting peace,” he added.
The new Constitution has given an opportunity to maintain unity in diversity in the nation and ensure rights of all, he added, while addressing the final meeting of the CA as the Assembly unanimously endorsed an acknowledgement motion, thanking the President for announcing commencement of the statute. (PTI)

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