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Nepal begins consultations on interim constitution

[JURIST] A Nepal committee has started to consult rebels and civil society leaders in preparation for drafting a temporary constitution after the new Nepal government and Maoist rebels reached a landmark deal [text; JURIST report] Friday. The two parties agreed to draft a power-sharing constitution within 15 days and dissolve the parliament reinstated by the popular people's uprising [JURIST news archive] against the direct rule of King Gyanendra [official profile] in April. The six-member team led by former Supreme court Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal is, however, still awaiting the formal go-ahead from the government required before it can begin the actual constitution drafting process.

Analysts said the agreement has paved the way to ending the decade-old Maoist insurgency that has already claimed over 13,000 lives. The United Nations will be invited to monitor and manage the arms of both the government army and the rebels to ensure free and fair elections for a proposed constituent assembly [JURIST report], expected to be held before April 2007. AFP has more.

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