Nepal’s three major political parties are determined to get the constitution passed this week and had invited protesting parties and groups for weekend talks.
The Madhesi parties are protesting against the seven province model of the federal structure as proposed by the major political parties.
The voting, which is expected to take at least a day or two, was boycotted by the smaller opposition parties, but they make up only 9 per cent of the assembly.
Taking part in the clause-wise deliberations on the amended Bill of the Constitution of Nepal, 2072 at the Constituent Assembly on Sunday, he said, “We will succeed in promulgating the new constitution as we succeeded in resolving problems including through the comprehensive peace accord in the past”.
According to Kuinkel, Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Subhas Nembang will extend a formal invitation to President Yadav for unveiling the much-awaited new constitution in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
Presently, Nepal is governed under the Interim Constitution of Nepal (2007).
“One of our key demands was to declare Nepal a secular state in the new constitution and allow its citizens to freely choose any religious belief and practice without any objection”, Ansari said.
“They could be greatly miscalculating the anger simmering in the Tarai [southern plains]. Their demands can be met after the constitution is announced”.
Two-thirds majority votes were required to endorse the proposal.
While the draft constitution maintains secularism, it also includes wording stating that the state will safeguard “Sanatan Dharma” – often used as an alternative term to describe Hinduism.
While welcoming recent progress Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday expressed concern over the protests that have erupted in the country’s southern plains, which border India.
A statement from the U.S. State Department said the new constitution should have the broadest possible support and reflect fundamental rights such as gender equality and basic freedoms. “We urge continuing flexibility on the part of all the political forces so that any outstanding issues are addressed through dialogue, in an atmosphere free from violence”.