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Published:June 18th, 2007 10:31 EST

Prime Minister Koirala tells King to Abdicate Soon

By Subash Lamichhane

Today in Nepal, the heat is on and it’s not just because of the weather.  In a recent speech given by Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, he said that if King Gyanendra and crown Prince Paras do not abdicate the throne before a Constituent Assembly election, the century-long Monarchy could be in danger.
 
Mr. Koirala was answering the enthusiastic Pakistani reporters who wanted to know about the future of the Monarchy.  Mr. Koirala said that it would be a better option for King Gyanendra and crown Prince Paras to leave the throne and abdicate as soon as possible. The country could still have monarch, the prince who is the son of the crown Prince Paras. He further added, “I have expressed to the King that he and his son will be treated fairly if they abdicate. You are unpopular and hence cannot be retained as monarchs.”
 
The Maoist fought  for more than 10 years to establish the Republic of Nepal and accept Nepali Congress and almost all other parties have decided to make Nepal a Republic state.  However, the majority party within Congress is still facing a dilemma: whether to accept Constitutional Monarchy or Republicanism. This is the issue of great tension for Congress; whereas, the youth of Nepal choose to be a republic.  In contrast, its experienced, long-worked leaders still have some love for constitutional Monarchy.

Mr. Prachanda, the Maoist leader, has criticized Mr. Koirala’s statement. He said that Mr. Koirala still loves the monarchy.  Mr. Koirala today said, “I have no love for the Monarchy.”  He also said that his concept has been misunderstood. "It is in the hands of the great people of Nepal to determine the faith of the Monarchy," he added.

After the Royal Massacre on 1998 AD, which killed all the family members of King Birendra and high officials, King Gyanendra came to power as the new king of Nepal. However, the people did not like him as he tried to rule the country in autocratic ways.
 
The war of thought is sure to start as this statement by Mr. Koirala has heated up the country for the moment and the country is moving toward rapid polarization. There is no way that the monarch will remain if the Constituent Assembly is held.  Nepal is facing critical days. There is lack of security, political instability and economic crisis as well as a lack of commitment of the leaders to Constituent Assembly.