Nepali Times
Magna Carta

The Thursday declaration 2063 that stripped the powers and privileges of the king by the House of the Representatives has been hailed as a historical move. In the past none of the political parties had ever imagined or dared to put this in their party agenda or discuss it in the parliament. The declaration took the nation by storm when the Speaker Subash Nembang announced that all powers of the king will be handed over to the people, his privileges cut off and the RNA put under the parliament with a new name, Nepal Army.

"I ask everyone to agree. The whole nation will march against anyone who objects to our declaration," warned Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala. If it was not for the pressure from both the demonstrators on the streets and some parties, the government would be still delaying the proclamation. The reasons for delays are reasonable and obvious. First, not all the parties in the HoR were prepared for such a big change. Secondly, they had not done enough homework on how to make the change possible. Politicians like Narhari Acharya, Amik Sherchan and others have pushing the new government to rush into the declaration as quickly as possible. "They should have announced this on the day the king gave up and formed the government," said Acharya during a press meet on Wednesday at Reporters' Club but he did not say what it would take for the parties to make the king and especially the RNA agree.

Cutting off the king from all powers and removing privileges had always been the key issues raised by Maoists for the last ten years of their People's War but most of the seven parties had always talked about keeping the monarchy within the constitution. Analysts also say that the parties would have never thought of such a big move and that the king is solely responsible for this to happen. The RNA has yet to respond to the declaration and the parties have confidence that there would be a positive response. There are already rumors that COAS Pyar Jung Thapa is being replaced by Lt. General Balananda Sharma who has already been recalled from Israel.

"If the nation demands it, this should not be difficult. There would be few hurdles but there are challenges for such a big change," said a senior RNA official on condition of anonymity but sounded unsure of how the change will take place. A new chapter in Nepal's history has begun but some experts say that the declaration should have not narrowed down to only cutting off the king's state power and privileges.

While addressing the house, Koirala did not even mention about political challenges that the parties have to face. He perhaps hopes this declaration will unite them in much better way but the differences between the parties are still more complicated to solve.

There is still major challenge for the parties to come in literally good terms with the Maoists, which still lacks faith in the parties. In the series of mass assemblies held in both towns and villages, the local Maoist leaders are openly criticising the alliance leaders and reiterate that without them the People's Movement would have never been successful.

But the Maoists and parties have to realise that the democracy movement is far from over as mass of citizens are carefully watching their each step. The people didn't take the streets just to end the king's rule but also to see that the Maoists and parties work together, end the armed conflict, change the constitution, hold elections and restore the country with absolute democracy.



(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)