Joe Hendren

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Nepali king restores the 2002 Parliament

Great to hear the Nepalese King Gyanendra give in to people power and reinstate the parliament that was dissolved by the monarch in 2002. This was a key demand of the seven Nepali political parties.

Based on the number of seats secured in the 1999 Nepali Election, as reported by Kantipur, the Nepali Congress party has a clear majority of 113 of the 205 parliamentary seats. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) is the next largest party with 68 seats.

The right-wing pro-monarchy National Democratic Party (Rashtriya Prajatantra) has 12 seats. The related Rashtriya Janashakti Party has five seats.

This is good news, but the Nepali people still need to hear from you!

The seven political parties pushing for constitution reform are meeting to discuss their next step following the reinstatement of the 2002 parliament. While a return to a constitutional monarchy is a possibility, the parties may want to consider stripping the king of his position of head of the armed forces - to ensure he is not able to withdraw democracy again.

King Gyanedra tightened his grip on power in February 2005, suspending any remaining hint of democracy, clamping down on civil liberties, shutting down phone and internet connections and declaring a state of emergency. This was defended on the grounds of fighting Maoist "terrorists and insurgents". It looks highly likely the language of Bush's phoney 'war on terror' has been used as an excuse by the Nepali king for violent repression of his own population, as well as a means to clamp down on the "ememies" who existed had long before 2001 (like the Philippines and Russia/Chechnya in this respect)

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