UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment [official statement] Monday with Nepal [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] for its failure to meet the Sunday deadline to write a new constitution. With the country's failure to draft a new constitution, Ban is concerned that the country may face another period of turmoil and urges the government should undertake every effort to prevent such:
Nepal has entered an uncertain constitutional and political period. The Government and the political leaders, as well as leaders of various communities, need to demonstrate the courage and wisdom to come together to address the challenges the nation faces. As an immediate priority, a political consensus on the way forward is essential to ensure stability and continuity. The work of constitution-making should resume without delay, building on what has so far been achieved, and the appropriate legitimate and representative mechanism for this should be found through consensus. These decisions will require flexibility, creativity, and above all the willingness to set aside lesser differences in the national interest.Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai [BBC profile] announced on Sunday that new elections will be held this November while the current parliament, which was elected in 2008 with the responsibility to write a new constitution, will be dissolved.
Last week, the Supreme Court of Nepal [official website, in Nepali] ordered [JURIST report] the government to complete the final version of the new constitution by Sunday thereby rejecting the administration's request to extend the deadline by three months. The Constituent Assembly of Nepal (CA) [official website], responsible for drafting the constitution, was elected to a two-year term in 2008, but the term has already been extended four times [AP report] 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 [official profile] spoke to the CA 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.