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  1. Nepal Main Page
  2. The Independence of Nepal and the First Free Election
  3. King Gyanendra Asserts Control over the Government
  4. Steps Toward Peace and a New Constitution
  5. A Constitution Crisis and the Historic 2011 Census
  6. No Agreement Reached on New Constitution
  7. Politicians Still Struggling to Agree on a New Government in Late 2012
  8. Interim Government Formed to End Political Deadlock
  9. Deadly Avalanche Hits Mount Everest and Sparks Protests
  10. Earthquake Kills Thousands, Destroys Several Historic Landmarks
  11. New Constitution Passes, Prime Minister Koirala Resigns
A Constitution Crisis and the Historic 2011 Census

On May 29, 2011, a last-minute deal was reached by Nepal's political parties to extend the new constitution deadline. The three month extension avoided what analysts were calling a political crisis. For over a year the Constituent Assembly, a special legislative body, had been trying to agree on a constitution and finalize a peace agreement that ended the Maoist insurgency. During the three month extension the rival parties within in Constituent Assembly agreed to draft a new constitution and address questions about the 19,000 former Maoists who are currently living in camps throughout the country.

In the fall of 2011, the first census results since Nepal's civil war and the fall of its Hindu monarchy will be released. It is also the first census by any country in the world to include an option for people who identify as third gender—people who do not have a fixed gender identity or sexual orientation. The inclusion is another step in embracing equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) people. In 2007, Sunil Babu Pant won a case in the Supreme Court that forced the government to guarantee equal rights to all sexual and gender minorities. In 2008, Pant became the first openly gay lawmaker elected to parliament. Since then, the Supreme Court has also approved same-sex marriage and Nepal now issues third gender national ID cards. Even though some logistical problems and fear among some third genders will make the census data inaccurate at best, the inclusion sends a message about the government's commitment on the issue and stands as a lesson to be learned by other nations.

Next: No Agreement Reached on New Constitution
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