[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon [official website] on Saturday urged [official statement] Nepalese authorities to conclude the forthcoming Constituent Assembly [official website] elections peacefully with a view toward drafting a new constitution. Political and social discord have plagued Nepal since the nation’s 2006 civil war abolished the monarchy. The first Constituent Assembly failed in its efforts to draft a new constitution before its dissolution in May 2012. Ki-moon expressed disappointment [JURIST report] over the failure and worried that the country would face another period of political and social turmoil. Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai [BBC profile] thereafter announced that new elections would be held in November. While Nepal has faced various political challenges, the UN acknowledged [UN News Centre report] several “admirable gains” made since 2008, including the discharge of the ex-Maoist army, the peaceful Constituent Assembly elections in 2008 and the removal of several minefields left over from the nation’s civil war. Ban also emphasized that the UN remains committed to supporting Nepal “on its path to a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future.”
In May 2012 the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered [JURIST report] the government to complete the final version of the new constitution thereby rejecting the administration’s request to extend the deadline by three months. The Constituent Assembly of Nepal, responsible for drafting the constitution, was elected to a two-year term in 2008, but the term has already been extended four times despite its pledge [JURIST report] to finish it by the end of April 2010. In April UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kang Kyung-wha spoke to the Assembly concerning the allegations [JURIST reports] of human rights violations committed during the country’s civil war that lasted for a decade and took more than 13,000 lives. Nepal abolished [JURIST report] its monarchy and established the Republic of Nepal on December 28, 2007, and has since attempted to create a new constitution for the country but has failed to do so.