Last Updated: Friday, 17 November 2017, 15:16 GMT

Nepal: Timeline of the constitution dilemma

Publisher Institute for War and Peace Reporting
Publication Date 30 August 2011
Cite as Institute for War and Peace Reporting, Nepal: Timeline of the constitution dilemma, 30 August 2011, available at: [accessed 18 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The third deadline for a draft Nepal constitution expires on 31 August. While another three-month extension has been granted, the postponement underscores the country's fragile political state five years after the end of a decade-long civil war in which 13,000 people died. IRIN chronicles the country's often contentious path to a constitution:

22 November 2005: The Seven Parties Alliance (SPA) finalizes a 12-point agreement with the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in New Delhi, as a roadmap for resolving conflict and restoring a democracy in Nepal;

6 April 2006: Maoist-supported SPA declares a nationwide non-violent and peaceful pro-democracy people's movement;

24 April: After the 19 days people's movement, referred to as Jana Andolan-II, King Gyanendra reinstates the old House of Representatives, which was dissolved in February 2005. The King calls upon the SPA to unify the nation. SPA accepts the reinstitution of Parliament;

26 April: Maoists declare three months unilateral ceasefire, agreeing to peace talks with key demands to draw up a new constitution;

28 April: Giraja Prasad Koirala, president of the Nepali Congress (NC) party, becomes the prime minister of the new government;

30 April: The House of Representatives passes the Constituent Assembly (CA) unanimously;

3 May: The government declares a ceasefire, removes the terrorist tags of the Maoists and invites the Maoist party for peace talks;

21 November: The armed insurgency that began on February 1996 formally ends with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the government and the Maoist party;

15 January 2007: The Interim Constitution is drafted by a committee headed by the late Justice Laxman Prasad Aryal replacing the 1990 Constitution;

23 January: The UN establishes the political mission UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) after a request from the Maoists and the government; 

1 April: The new government is formed and a date for CA elections is set for 20 June 2007;

13 April: The Election Commission declares its inability to conduct the CA polls on 20 June and postpones the elections to November.

18 September: Maoist ministers resign from the cabinet after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala rejects demands for a pre-poll proclamation of a republic;

5 October: The CA elections, re-scheduled for 22 November 2007, are postponed indefinitely after crisis talks fail to bring the Maoist party back into the government;

30 December: The Maoist party rejoins the government, making a deal to end the monarchy and setting a new date for the CA elections in April 2008;

10 April 2008: The election of the 601-member CA results in a Maoist majority and more social diversity in the government, increasing the representation of women and other minorities. The CA is mandated to draft a new constitution by 28 May 2010 to replace the Interim Constitution;

28 May: During its first meeting, the CA votes overwhelmingly in favour of abolishing the 240-year-old Hindu monarchy and Nepal is declared a Federal Democratic Republic;

21 July: The CA elects Ram Baran Yadav, leader of the NC party, as Nepal's first president;

15 August: Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is elected as Nepal's first Maoist prime minister;

4 May 2009: Dahal, also known as Prachanda, resigns less than nine months after coming to power, when the country's president blocks his move to fire the army chief;

23 May: Madhav Kumar Nepal, chairman of the constitution-drafting committee, is elected as prime minister "unopposed", with the support of representatives from 22 political parties in the CA;

28 May 2010: The CA's initial deadline for a constitution is extended by one year;

30 June: Nepal resigns under pressure from the opposition Maoist party but continues to serve as caretaker PM for seven months;

15 January 2011: UNMIN withdraws;

3 February: The CA elects president of the Communist Party of Nepal Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML), Jhala Nath Khanal, as PM to succeed his party's leader Nepal. Khanal agrees to step down by 13 August if no progress is made;

28 May: The CA term and Interim Constitution expire for the second time;

29 May: The CA extends the deadline for a constitution by three more months even though the Supreme Court of Nepal on 25 May 2011 ruled the initial 2010 extension was unconstitutional;

14 August: Khanal resigns under intense pressure from his own party, CPN-UML but continues as caretaker PM until the new government is formed;

15 August: President Yadav calls on the parties to form a national consensus government by 21 August, but negotiations fail even after an extension of three days. The president calls for a parliamentary vote for a majority government;

28 August: Baburam Bhattarai, vice-chairman of the Maoist party, is elected the fourth prime minister;

29 August: Parliament endorses the proposal to extend the CA term for a third time. The new deadline, as of 31 August, will be 30 November 2011.

Copyright notice: © Institute for War & Peace Reporting

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