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Maoists say Nepal interim constitution leaves monarchy issue unresolved

[JURIST] Negotiators for Maoist rebels in the Nepal constitutional talks expressed reservations Thursday that the draft interim constitution, to be presented Friday, does not address the key issue of whether the new government should retain elements of the former monarchical system. The six-person Interim Constitution Drafting Committee (ICDC) was formed in July in an historic contract [text; JURIST report] between the interim civilian government and Maoist rebels, and is charged with drafting an interim constitution primarily aimed at delineating the procedure and substance of the upcoming constituent assembly elections. Once a new representative body is in place, the new representatives will draft a permanent constitution. Representatives of the Nepali Congress Party [party website], Nepal's largest political party, say the monarchy issue should be decided when the permanent constitution is drafted.

The landmark constitution-drafting deal between Maoist rebels and the interim government also dissolved the parliament which was reinstated after pro-democracy rallies [JURIST news archive] against the direct rule of King Gyanendra [official profile] in April. Also on Thursday, Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat said the King was stripped of even his ceremonial powers [eKantipur report] when Nepal's reinstated parliament approved a House of Representatives Proclamation [JURIST report] adopted on May 18 that recognized the Nepali people as the source of state power. AFP has more.

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