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Nepal cabinet OKs interim constitution, Maoists prepare to join parliament

[JURIST] Former Maoist insurgents are preparing to enter their first session of parliament in Nepal [JURIST news archive] after the Nepalese cabinet approved a draft interim constitution [eKantipur highlights; JURIST news archive] on Sunday. The party will hold roughly twenty-five percent of seats in the temporary parliament, which is set to pass the interim constitution and oversee elections to draft a permanent constitution.

The assumption of parliamentary power will represent a stark transformation by the Maoists from a group of communist rebels to a mainstream political party. Demanding a communist state, they began their insurgency campaign in 1996. After King Gyanendra [official profile] seized complete control of the government [JURIST report] in 2005, the Maoists allied themselves with the seven democratic parties in November of that year. In April of 2006, the King submitted to rising street demonstrations and agreed to reinstate democratic government [JURIST report]. The future of the monarchy in Nepal remains a particularly contentious point of negotiation by all sides. Maoist rebels agreed to the temporary constitution [JURIST report] in December. They are also set to assume certain cabinet positions in the coming weeks, though the specific positions are still being negotiated. Kanunisanchar.com has local coverage. AFP has more.

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