Nepal has adopted a new constitution aimed at bolstering its transformation from a Hindu monarchy to a secular democracy, as violent protests raged against some of the terms of the charter.
Firecrackers went off on Sunday in celebration in Kathmandu and President Ram Baran Yadav announced the adoption of the constitution, the first to be drafted by elected representatives.
“I announce the presented constitution of Nepal, passed by the Constituent Assembly and authenticated by the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, effective from today, 20 September 2015, before the people of Nepal,” he said.
Members of the parliament approved the charter on Wednesday despite weeks of violent protests against plans to divide the Himalayan nation of 28 million people into seven provinces. More than 40 people have been killed in clashes between protesters and police, among them two children and a police officer lynched as he was driven to hospital in an ambulance, according to the AFP news agency.