Nepal becomes a federal democratic republic

The historic first meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) has endorsed a proposal to amend the interim constitution implementing the declaration of Nepal as a federal democratic republic.

The officiating chairman of the CA, Kul Bahadur Gurung said that of the 564 CA members who took part in the voting on the proposal, 560 voted in its favour while four members voted against it.

The motion for implementing the republic declaration was introduced by the government.

Home Minister Krishna Sitaula introduced the proposal as per the Article 159 of the Interim Constitution, which was put for voting.

Following the voting result, the CA also approved a proposal stating that the King should vacate the Narayanhity royal palace within 15 days.

The proposal states that the King will lose all perks and privileges except his rights as a common citizen. The Narayanhity royal palace will be turned into a national museum or used in national interest as deemed necessary by the government, the proposal adds.

The CA meeting had started after 9 pm on Wednesday night at Birendra International Convention Center (BICC).

Earlier in the day, the major parties including Nepali Congress (NC), Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) and the Maoists had agreed to introduce a proposal to implement republic at the CA. They also agreed to establish constitutional president and executive prime minister and bring about necessary changes in the interim constitution for this purpose.

“The president will be the commander in chief of the national army. He will act as per the recommendation of the Prime Minister. He will be authorised to declare emergency in accordance with the cabinet decision,” said NC leader Bimalendra Nidhi.

He added that president will be elected by the CA and details about his election process will be worked out and incorporated in another amendment proposal soon.

Following the decision, the CA have been prorogued till June 5. sd May 28 08