king is gone, long live the republic, say Nepalese
June 12 (IANS) As the former kingdom of Nepal entered a new
era with its deposed king Gyanendra handing over his crown,
sceptre and throne to the government and making his final
exit from the royal palace Wednesday night, the nation's major
parties hailed the event and ruled out the return of the crown.
acceptance of the decision of the constituent assembly (to
abolish monarchy) and peaceful exit from the palace is a positive
sign," said Maoist lawmaker Dinanath Sharma, whose party
had fought a 10-year savage guerrilla war to overthrow the
country's 239-year-old monarchy, regarded by them as a feudal
force responsible for the rampant poverty and inequality in
all feudal and regressive elements have not died with the
departure of the king. Now cap-wearing kings are vying to
take the crowned king's place.
have a long and hard struggle ahead of us to implement the
proclamation of a democratic republic."
King Gyanendra grabbed power with the army behind him in 2005
and tried to impose absolute rule in the name of bringing
peace to an insurgency-racked nation, he became, willy-nilly,
the instrument that united the parties and the Maoists, who
began staging a united opposition to his regime.
however, with the end of kingship in Nepal, the rivalry between
the Maoists and prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala's Nepali
Congress (NC), once the largest party in Nepal, has been stoked
afresh with the former guerrillas accusing Koirala of trying
to assume the absolute power the former king had surrendered.
(NC) party that won only 37 seats (out of the 240 directly
contested seats in the constituent assembly) is now trying
to grab the key posts and hold on to the government,"
Sharma said, referring to the current impasse that has blocked
the Maoists from forming the new government though they are
now the largest party with 240 seats.
is the new feudalism in Nepal."
he vacated the palace, 24 hours ahead of a 15-day deadline
given to him by the new lawmakers, in an unprecedented move
in the 239-year history of the crown, deposed king Gyanendra
held a press conference in the palace, where he defended his
power grab, saying he had no other motive than the welfare
of the nation and a desire to help it retain its sovereignty.
also warned that the country was now on the brink of a severe
crisis and that he would continue to live in his motherland
and work for the "greater welfare" of the nation
said it was the "natural reaction" of an institution
that had been accustomed to being in the seat of power for
more than two centuries.
is natural that when such an old and powerful institution
bows out, it would express some rage and threats," he
an ordinary citizen, he can acquire power through political
means. But the old monarchy with its absolute power is dead
and can't be revived. You can't make the waters of a river
return to the source."
NC, a party that had in the past staunchly supported constitutional
monarchy and distanced itself from the crown only after Gyanendra's
coup, also ruled out the return of the king.
the changed circumstances, monarchy will not be able to resurrect
itself in Nepal," predicted Prakash Man Singh, the first
NC lawmaker to have been declared elected in the April election.
whose father Ganesh Man Singh played a dominant role in the
pro-democracy uprising in 1990, agreed with the Maoists that
while Gyanendra could return to power as a citizen through
a political process, he would never be able to sweep back
to absolute power as king.
crown has frequently attacked democracy," Singh said,
referring to an earlier coup by the deposed king's father
Mahendra, who sacked the elected government and banned political
regarded as the major factor for the violence and instability
in Nepal, it has outlived the earlier perception of being
a unifying force.
the parties that in the past supported monarchy have now withdrawn
is being speculated that the deposed king, who starts life
as a commoner from Thursday in a rundown royal retreat on
the outskirts of the capital that was once used as a hunting
lodge by his forefathers, would devote himself to his former
could also launch a new party or try other means of acquiring
a say in national issues.
chief Prachanda said as a commoner the former king could do
anything that was allowed by the law.
could contest elections," Prachanda said.