01/08/2008, 00.00
NEPAL
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Two thousand people take to the street in Kathmandu demanding the return of the king

by Kalpit Parajuli
Pro-Hindu, pro-royalist nationalist parties in Nepal’s parliament lead protest against the ruling seven-party coalition that turned Nepal into a democracy, stripping the king of his powers.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – More than two thousand people demonstrated in the Nepali capital yesterday in favour of the restoration of the monarchy. Rally organisers also announced that they would start a campaign to battle the “anti-royalist authoritarianism” of the seven-party alliance currently in power.

Led by pro-Hindu nationalist parties represented in parliament protesters attacked the new constitution and accused the ruling alliance of “stripping people of their rights, one at a time.” They were especially upset by the definition in the constitution of Nepal as “a democratic federal republic.”

“We cannot keep silent and be witness to the continued abuse of the population’s rights,” Rabindra Nath Sharma, president of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, told the crowd. “This is just the start of a long battle.”

Kamal Thapa, former interior minister in the last royalist government, said that the “new constitutional amendments, which remove the king, are not only anti-democratic but they are also unconstitutional. Only a referendum can decide the fate of the king.”

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