Nepal 2008: Facts on the Conflict
Nepal Situation Overview 09 Nov - 31 Dec 2007
January 2008
Nepal Situation Overview 09 Nov - 31 Dec 2007

January 2008 (OCHA)


- Consultations between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) breaks political deadlock

- Terai based Legislators pull out of government, Parliament

- Political re-alignment in Terai underway

- Security concerns in the Terai persist with new reports of extortion, threats and abductions

- CPN-Maoist steps up extortion drive countrywide

- The second phase of registration of CPN-Maoist combatants completed

- Resignations by VDC Secretaries continue to affect the 'reach of state'

- Humanitarian and Development actors continue to face access challenges

- Displacements reported in Eastern Nepal

- IASC 2008 Appeal completed


Politics and Major Developments

On 19 November, the winter session of Interim parliament met but adjourned to 29 November to give time for more negotiations and consensus on constitutional and political issues.

Citing failure of the government to address issues affecting their community, four members of parliament from the Madhesi Community, including a cabinet minister affiliated with different political parties resigned from their positions. Further, five more central leaders, members of Nepali Congress, CPM-UML and Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSPAnandidevi) also resigned from their respective parties. The politicians stated that they would soon form a Madhesi regional political party, a move that was widely welcomed by other groups operating in the Terai. During the same period, Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (MPRF) leaders issued threats to the government that the MPRF would launch fresh protest programmes by 30 December unless the government implements the 22 point accord it had signed earlier with the MPRF.

During the reporting period, political forces continued to merge and create new fronts, especially in the Terai region. Notable among these developments was the emergence of youths of Madhesh Raksha Bahini affiliated to Nepal Sadhbhavana Party (Mahato) who marched in uniform in the main market areas of Birgunj in Parsa District as well as Nepalgunj in Banke District during the re-launch of the youth movement under the leadership of Rajendra Mahato. Political alignment between NSP (Mahato) and MPRF (Yadav) also continued to take shape during the reporting period. This alignment has become known as United Madhesi Front. On 14 December the Mahato faction of the NSP-A filed an application with the Election Commission for the registration of a new party under the name of Sadbhavana Party, dropping Nepal from the name to distinguish itself from the Anandevi faction.

The Prime Minister expressed commitment to hold the CA election by mid April 2008 and to continued consultations with the main political parties to reach agreement towards this end.

On 14 December, after considerable inter-party consultations, the three main political parties; NC, UML and CPN-Maoist reached a consensus on an amendment of the interim constitution to specify that the future constitution should be for a republic, subject to endorsement by the first sitting of the issue of electoral system to be used during the CA election.

Consultations were finalized on 23 December when the Seven Party Alliance signed a 23-point agreement. The agreement provided for the declaration of a republic subject to implementation by the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly, a mixed electoral system with 60% of the members of the CA to be elected through proportional system and 40% through first-past-the-post system, and an increase in number of seats in the Constituent Assembly (CA) from the current 497 to 601 members. Moreover, it was decided that several committees for the implementation of previous agreements would be formed within a month and that the CA election would be held before mid-April 2008. The CPN-Maoist would rejoin the interim government with immediate effect. The agreement further vested all the executive powers on the Prime Minister and asked the PM to act as head of state until the implementation of the republican declaration. The Interim Constitution will likely be amended to reflect the points reached in this agreement.

The second phase of registration and verification of CPN-Maoist combatants at the remaining cantonment sites were completed. According to the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA), the combatants identified as minors or post 26 May 2006 recruits through the verification process will be discharged.

Refugees in Nepal: Bacchu Rokaya and her children at an IDP camp in Rajhena of Nepalgunj
Source:ReliefWeb 2008
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