Nepal opposition cuts short crippling general strike

AP News
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Posted: Apr 08, 2015 12:41 AM
Nepal opposition cuts short crippling general strike

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Life returned to normal in Nepal on Wednesday after an opposition alliance cut short a crippling general strike over an impasse about how to approve the Himalayan nation's constitution.

Schools and markets opened and vehicles were back on the streets, a day after police clashed with protesters on the first day of the strike.

A meeting of the opposition late Tuesday decided to cut short the three-day protest action, citing inconveniences to the public.

Police said protesters attacked and vandalized 23 vehicles that defied the strike, and officers detained 55 protesters. Police fired tear gas in Kathmandu and protesters retaliated by throwing stones.

The alliance of 30 opposition parties is demanding a constitutional draft be passed by an agreement involving all political parties inside and outside parliament. The ruling coalition has been attempting to get the draft approved through a vote in parliament after negotiations with the opposition failed.

Nepal's constitution was supposed to have been written by the Constituent Assembly that was elected in 2008, following the end of a 10-year Maoist insurgency and the overthrow of the centuries-old monarchy. But the assembly was riven by infighting and never finished its work.

The current assembly was chosen in 2013, but has faced the same problem.