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Constitution draft torn up, tabled, and ready to read

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
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By: Peregrine Frissell

Photos By: Bikram Rai

The waiting is finally over, but the presentation of the new constitution was fraught with some extreme reactions from many members of the Constituent Assembly (CA).

The newly printed draft of the Constitution of Nepal sits in the lap of a member of the Constitutional Assembly on Tuesday.

The newly printed draft of the Constitution of Nepal sits in the lap of a member of the Constitutional Assembly on Tuesday.

Though the document was tabled in the CA for the day, some fringe parties felt that wasn’t enough to adequately express their feelings.

One member of the CA raises his copy above the crowd before ripping it to bits in the middle of the packed CA Hall.

One member of the CA raises his copy above the crowd before ripping it to bits in the middle of the packed CA Hall.

Members of the Hindu-Royalist RPP-Nepal, Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party and Sadbhavana parties were all disgusted with the draft for its basis on the controversial 16 point agreement that the NC-UML and the opposition UCPN (Maoist)-MJF (Democratic) signed several weeks ago.

Those disgruntled members made their objections known in a demonstrable way Tuesday when they raised the documents above their heads and tore them to pieces, symbolically throwing them away as they marched purposefully out of the CA hall.

Small pieces of a document that the nation is planting their hopes on drift through the air, after being tossed up for a photograph by some members of the CA.

Small pieces of a document that the nation is planting their hopes on drift through the air, after being tossed up for a photograph by some members of the CA.

The demonstration was powerful, but didn’t include all members of the CA who protested parts of the new constitution. Representatives of RPP-N did not tear the draft into bits, but instead made their discontent vocal through the chanting of slogans.

Some members of the CA led chants opposing the constitutional draft as they strode through the lobby after departing CA hall.

Some members of the CA led chants opposing the constitutional draft as they strode through the lobby after departing CA hall.

Many of the dissenters of the draft said that it did not do enough to protect marginalized communities within Nepali Society, such as women, Dalit, Janjatis, and Madhesi.

Women were prominent participants in the demonstrations, speaking out against what they conceived as the conspicuous lack of protections of their rights in the constitution draft. They ripped, chanted, and made clear that they demanded changes too.

Women were in the middle of the political process, as they took part in the varied forms of outcry as well.

Women were in the middle of the political process, as they took part in the varied forms of outcry as well.

The Prime Minister was not amused.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala departs the CA hall in frustration after the constitution draft is tabled and met with far worse forms of dissent.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala departs the CA hall in frustration after the constitution draft is tabled and met with far worse forms of dissent.

The more petulant members of the CA ripped only their own copies of the constitution. Members of the public can access an electronic PDF. The government is supposed to begin the period where they will hear feedback from the public soon.

 

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One Response to “Constitution draft torn up, tabled, and ready to read”

  1. Lama on Says:

    So now get on with the real work


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