May 27 - Nepal's warring political parties fail to agree on a new constitution before midnight deadline, threatening the country with political chaos. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Outcry on the streets of Katmandu as a midnight deadline approaches for a new constitution in Nepal. A new constitution was widely seen as crucial to ending the instability that has plagued Nepal since the end of a Maoist-led civil war in 2006. Those efforts have long been thwarted by demands that the country be divided into states along ethnic lines. Now the federation of the Indigenous people is calling for its own government. (SOUNDBITE) (Nepali) GENERAL SECRETARY OF NEPAL FEDERATION OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE ANG KAZI SHERPA SAYING: "We will declare our own state. State governments will be announced, a parallel government will be formed; we will be compelled to announce the president and prime minister as well, and the constitution, if promulgated will be burned at these cross roads." Clashes erupt with more than a dozen people injured. Frustrated politicians stage their own demonstration, expressing frustration at the deadlock. (SOUNDBITE) (Nepali) MAOIST LAWMAKER TILAK PARIYAR SAYING: "These 601 lawmakers are not just sheeplike followers of the leaders. These are the representatives of the Nepali people. These people with a commitment to fulfill the aspirations of Nepali people." As the government fails to reach an agreement , clashes go into the night. Negotiators say the cabinet will now have to decide between various courses of action, including declaring a state of emergency which would extend the life of the current parliament for six months, and calling a fresh election. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters