Friday, December 28, 2007

Vote to abolish Nepal's monarchy

BBC News, December 28, 2007

Gyanendra at ceremony
Gyanendra has only months left as king
Parliament in Nepal has voted to abolish the monarchy, as part of a peace deal with former Maoist rebels.

The Maoists left the government in September, vowing not to return unless the monarchy was scrapped. They ended a decade-long insurgency last year.

Nepal will be declared a republic after elections in April next year.

King Gyanendra, whose dynasty dates back to 1769, lost popular support when he sacked the government in 2005 and assumed absolute power.

Today's vote has made sure the king will be removed immediately after elections
Krishna Prasad Situala
Nepal home minister

The decision to make Nepal a "federal democratic republican state" was taken by an overwhelming majority - 270 MPs out of 371 voted to abolish the monarchy, with only three against.

The main political parties had originally agreed to leave the question of whether Nepal should become a republic to the constituent assembly being elected in April.

But the Maoists wanted the decision taken at once - hence the agreement reached by the main political parties earlier this week. It will allow the Maoists to re-join the administration.

Continued . . .

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