Vote to abolish Nepal's monarchy
Parliament in Nepal has voted
to abolish the monarchy, as part of a peace deal with former Maoist
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.
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.
However, it will be the new assembly which
formally abolishes the monarchy, leaving Gyanendra as king in
name at least until then - unless he tries to disrupt the process,
in which case parliament has given itself powers to dismiss him
"Today's vote has made sure the king
will be removed immediately after elections," said home minister
Krishna Prasad Situala.
Corruption and insurgency
The king's fall from grace began in February
2005, when he dismissed parliament and took executive powers for
himself, saying this was the way to root out corruption and end
the Maoist insurgency of the day.
But his heavy-handed action united political
opposition to him, and a violent uprising in April last year forced
him to restore parliament.
The new civil authorities have since stripped
him of his powers, his command over the army, his immunity from
prosecution - and now are set to strip him of his title.