Nepal. At the turn of the year, the Maoist guerrilla
interrupted a four-month ceasefire on the grounds that the
army made no counter-performance. The violence flared up
again on a large scale.
At the same time, the civil opposition parties increased
their protests against the royal monarchy that prevailed
since February 2005.
CountryAAH, local elections were held in February but a very low
participation was interpreted as a popular indication of
dissatisfaction with the royal power.
The Supreme Court dissolved the commission that, on the
king's order, would investigate corruption among civilian
politicians, which resulted in the release of the ousted
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba; another hardship for the
When the seven dominant opposition parties in April
announced protests indefinitely against the king, the
guerrillas canceled their armed actions in the metropolitan
area as a support effort. Protests were carried out daily,
both in Kathmandu and in other parts of the country, unrest
erupted in several places and within a few weeks at least
nineteen people had been shot dead by police and military
and a thousand injured.
The Indian government put the king under severe
diplomatic pressure to give up, and on April 24, King
Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Deb announced that Parliament
should be reinstated. Veteran Girija Prasad Koirala of the
Nepalese Congress Party was appointed Prime Minister of a
Unity Government. The interim parliament deprived the king
of power over the army, declared Nepal a secular state,
deprived the king of the right to veto laws, reduced his
apanage by 70%, decided that he should not appoint his own
successor and made the royal house taxable. In a month, the
king was reduced from a single despot to a symbol figure.
Peace negotiations began with the guerrillas, who in the
autumn agreed to put their weapons under UN control.
In November, the ten-year civil war was declared ended,
after claiming around 12,500 lives. According to the peace
agreement, the Maoists would be part of a new unity
government and get a large number of seats in a new interim
parliament. The guerrillas and the government also agreed on
the main features of a new constitution with further reduced
royal power. A commission appointed in May declared in
November the king responsible for the spring shootings and
recommended that he be punished.