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Nepal Promises More Political Representation for Madhesi Community

Nepal's prime minister has promised to redraw constituencies to allow members of the Madhesi ethnic group better representation in an upcoming vote for a new constitution.

Girija Prasad Koirala also said that Nepal would have a federal system of government under that new constitution.

At least nine people died and dozens were injured in recent rioting by members of the Madhesi community. The protests paralyzed the southeastern Terai region and led to the arrests of three former cabinet ministers accused of inciting violence in the region.

Ethnic Madhesis say a recent peace deal with Maoist rebels and a new interim constitution does not adequately represent the interests of their community.

Last year, Nepal signed a peace accord with Maoists, ending a decade of civil war. As part of the peace process, the government and the Maoists agreed to share power and hold a constitutional assembly in June.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.