07/12/2012, 00.00
NEPAL

Economic crisis and corruption favour the return of former Hindu king

Kalpit Parajuli
In view of the upcoming November elections, Nepal's deposed monarch, Gyanendra Shah, continues a media campaign to regain his throne. However, for current prime minister Bhattarai, there is no going back and the republic is here to stay. His wife Yami, a member of his party, criticises corrupt politicians, and does not exclude a monarchist restoration.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Gyanendra Shah, Nepal's deposed king, is taking advantage of the country's political instability and government crisis in order to regain his throne. In an interview with a local TV station, News 24, the former monarch said he was saddened by the country's fate, waiting since 2007 for a constitution and a leader able to govern.

Shad said he did not want power but in view of the failures of the republican system of government, he was working with political parties to play the role of the nation's guardian. Most political leaders said however that they had not made any deals with the deposed king, slamming him for taking advantage of the crisis to get his throne back.

For current Prime Minister Baburan Bhattari, a return to the monarchy was out of the question. "It is not good for him [the former king] to make such controversial public remarks," he explained. "Political parties will have to reconsider the state facilities" but a revival of monarchy is nigh impossible for the wheel of history cannot be turned back.

After the failure to adopt the new constitution back in May, the constituent assembly was officially dissolved on 27 June. Fresh elections are scheduled for November.

At present, a caretaker government is running the affairs of state under Maoist Bhaburan Bhattarai. However, many Nepalis feel that a multiparty republic has failed so far.

Some political leaders do not even exclude the restoration of the monarchy, including HisilaYami, wife of the prime minister and a member of the Maoist party.

Unlike her husband, Ms Yami believes that the "multiparty system has been a failure" and this is boosting King Gyanendra Shah popularity's among the people who are tired of squabbles between conservatives, Maoists and Communists.

"Maoists and conservatives are only interested in power and are doing nothing for the people," she explained. "If the atmosphere does not change, there will not be any deal among the parties and this will have serious consequences."

Following strikes called by Nepal's Maoists, thousands of workers have lost their job. Since January, poverty-related suicides and murders have jumped. Many foreign companies have also moved their investments out of Nepal.

With parliament's unable to pass the 2011 budget, the country surviving only because of aid from Nepal's Chinese ally and remittances from Nepali migrants, which represent 10 per cent of the gross domestic product.

 

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