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Nepal

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Index
  1. Nepal Main Page
  2. The Independence of Nepal and the First Free Election
  3. King Gyanendra Asserts Control over the Government
  4. Steps Toward Peace and a New Constitution
  5. A Constitution Crisis and the Historic 2011 Census
  6. No Agreement Reached on New Constitution
  7. Politicians Still Struggling to Agree on a New Government in Late 2012
  8. Interim Government Formed to End Political Deadlock
King Gyanendra Asserts Control over the Government

King Gyanendra dismissed the government in Oct. 2002, calling it corrupt and ineffective. He declared a state of emergency in November and ordered the army to crack down on the Maoist guerrillas. The rebels intensified their campaign, and the government responded with equal intensity, killing hundreds of Maoists, the largest toll since the insurgency began in 1996. In Aug. 2003, the Maoist rebels withdrew from peace talks with the government and ended a cease-fire that had been signed in Jan. 2003. The following August, the rebels blockaded Kathmandu for a week, cutting off shipments of food and fuel to the capital.

King Gyanendra fired the entire government in Feb. 2005 and assumed direct power. Many of the country's politicians were placed under house arrest, and severe restrictions on civil liberties were instituted. In Sept. 2005, the Maoist rebels declared a unilateral cease-fire, which ended in Jan. 2006. In April, massive pro-democracy protests organized by seven opposition parties and supported by the Maoists took place. They rejected King Gyanendra's offer to hand over executive power to a prime minister, saying he failed to address their main demands: the restoration of Parliament and a referendum to redraft the constitution. Days later, as pressure mounted and the protests intensified, King Gyanendra agreed to reinstate Parliament. The new parliament quickly moved to diminish the king's powers and selected Girija Prasad Koirala as prime minister. In May, it voted unanimously to declare Nepal a secular nation and strip the king of his authority over the military.

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