Monarchy’s popularity ratings down: Survey

73 pc unaware of meaning of federal state

Kathmandu, October 31:

A majority of Nepalis believe that the popularity of monarchy has declined in Nepal in the recent years, said a survey report made public here today by the Interdisciplinary Analysts.

According to the organisation’s findings on Nepal’s contemporary political situation, 87 per cent of the respondents said that the monarchy’s popularity has declined in the eyes of citizens while 40 per cent said decline in popularity was related to the royal massacre of 2001. Thirty-two per cent likened the decline in popularity with King Gyanendra’s actions.

The country is divided on the issue of ceremonial monarchy, the survey conducted in 35 districts said. “Fifty-four per cent of the respondents are for monarchy, while 39 per cent are against kingship,” the report said.

Seventy-three per cent of the respondents were not aware of the meaning of federal state, said Dr Sudhindra Sharma, director of the Interdisciplinary Analysts at a programme titled ‘Top-line findings of Nepal’s contemporary political situation opinion poll III’. The programme was organised by the Interdisciplinary Analysts with the Asia Foundation’s support. The survey was conducted among 3,000 respondents in 35 districts of five development zones. Sharma claimed that the respondents represented all castes and ethnic minorities.

“People are optimistic that the seven-party alliance and the Maoists will resolve the current problems facing the nation,” said Sharma. To a question regarding whom the respondents would cast a vote for if the elections were to be held now, 16 per cent said they would vote for the Maoists. Similarly, 14 said they would vote for Nepali Congress, 12 per cent for CPN-UML and 4 per cent for the King. However, 4 per cent of the respondents did not want to cast votes for anyone.

Majority of the people had some idea about constituent assembly. A total of 59 per cent were aware of the constituent assembly, 23 had an understanding of it while 18 per cent said

they had a clear-cut knowledge about it.

Similarly, 44 per cent said an election to a constituent assembly was necessary to bring about lasting peace in the country while 28 per cent said it was necessary to satisfy all the parties concerned. Similarly, 11 per cent termed the CA polls necessary to bring the Maoists to the mainstream politics.

On the issue of arms management, 40 per cent of the respondents wished to see both the Nepali Army and the Maoists to keep their arms separate. Likewise, 32 per cent wanted the Nepali Army to remain in the barracks and the Maoists to give up arms. However, 25 per cent just wanted to see both the Nepali Army and the Maoists to remain in their respective barracks and cantonments without laying down arms.

Findings at a glance

• 2001 royal massacre, King Gyanendra’s actions causes of monarchy’s unpopularity

• 44 pc say CA polls necessary for lasting peace

• 16 pc to vote for Maoists, 14 pc for NC, 12 pc for CPN-UML and 4 pc for King

• People optimistic about the success of the ongoing talks