Nepal's government presents new constitution amendment bill

21 April
Nepal government has presented a new constitution amendment bill. The bill aims to address some of the key demands raised by United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF). Madhesi leaders are demanding more representation and re-demarcation of provincial boundaries ahead of local polls. Though new bill does not propose any change in the boundary of provinces but it has provision to form a federal commission to look into the issue. According to the new bill, the government may form a federal commission to recommend it on the issues relating to the number of provinces and their boundaries. The Madhesi parties, that have been demanding more representation in all state mechanism, are opposing the local body elections slated for May 14. Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a prolonged agitation between September 2015 and February last year against the implementation of the new Constitution which they felt marginalised the Terai community. Earlier, Nepal government had withdrawn the second Constitution Amendment Bill which was presented in the Parliament in November 2016. The provision in Article 274 of Nepal’s Constitution will be cancelled and a new Federal Structure Commission will be formed which will present a new report regarding delineation. The new amendment bill proposes to solve the issue of delineation by forming a new federal commission.

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