Nepal will adopt a democratic charter in a historic move Sunday that will see the Himalayan nation get a new constitution and become a secular, federal republic.
According to Reuters, President Ram Baran Yadav will announce the new constitution, which comes after years of sometimes bloody political strife, which was recently capped by weeks of protests that claimed the lives of at least 40 people in the past few weeks. Nepal, one of the poorest countries in the world, is still struggling to recover from the aftermath of an earthquake and its aftershocks that killed over 9,000 people earlier this year.
"The constitution that will be promulgated is the outcome of many years of struggle by the Nepali people," Prateek Pradhan, media adviser to the prime minister, told Reuters. "It addresses the aspirations and demands of all sections of Nepali society in an inclusive and representative manner."
The new constitution was originally demanded by Maoist rebels who fought a 10-year long civil war that ended with a peace deal in 2006, according to the BBC. The country’s nearly 240-year old monarchy ended in 2008 when the Maoists won elections, but internal differences scuttled the creation of a new constitution at the time, the BBC report added.
The new constitution, which will divide the country into seven states, has been opposed by those who want Nepal to be a Hindu nation, as well as by minority groups that fear discrimination, according to reports.
Authorities have stepped up security in the capital, Kathmandu, anticipating violence ahead of the new constitution's proclamation, the Associated Press reported, adding that police had reported several hoax bomb threats.