Today is a momentous day in the history of Nepal. After 7 years and 4 months (nearly our entire time in Nepal), a democratically elected body has written a new constitution for Nepal. At 5pm today Nepal time (12:15 BST) the President will declare the commencement of the new constitution. This whole week the parliament has been voting through the various articles of the constitution. Just over 500 of the 600 members of the parliament voted in favour, one party abstained from all voting and another, the party in favour of a return to the monarchy, voted against.
The BBC has a good article covering the complexities of how the nation is feeling. Of course there are many who are happy to have a new constitution and many who are disappointed with part or all of it. It is not really our place to dissect and comment on individual elements of it, but we are pleased that Nepal does now have a constitution after such a long time trying. We are praying that this will be the start of a new dawn for Nepal and that the focus can now move from constitution writing to strong governance which we hope will help improve the lot of the average Nepali.
We are hoping too for peace. The BBC article explains about some of the violence and protests that have been ongoing during the last few weeks (and indeed for the last seven years) as people who are unhappy with elements of the constitution or their representation within it seek change. Now that it is finalised we hope that these elements will seek democratic solutions to these problems.
The government has declared today and tomorrow a Public holiday to celebrate and honour the new constitution. So we are enjoying a long weekend and will raise a glass and say a prayer for the nation that has been our home through this whole process.