nepal landscapeObservers hailed the inclusion of "Maoist rebels, once branded terrorists, into the country’s interim parliament and the declaration of January 16 as a public holiday to celebrate the new nation that put behind it a decade of conflict," reported the Ecumenical News service in Switzerland. A total of 83 Maoists were sworn in this week as MP’s in the legislature. Most significant is the fact that the new party filled more than one-third of its seats with women — truly breaking ground in Nepal…


"The Maoists have also brought in significant numbers of dalits, formerly known as "untouchables", and others from indigenous ethnic groups — all people traditionally excluded from power," reported the BBC. "In an impoverished and hierarchical society, this translation of rhetoric into reality matters a lot."

The 330-member parliament will draft a new republican constitution for Nepal, in the wake of the overthrow of the king. (Earlier GNN reports on the road to peace and democracy in Nepal)

Sources: ENI; BBC – with photos

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