THT 10 years ago: King must abdicate his throne: PM Koirala

Biratnagar, March 12, 2007

Prime Minister and President of Nepali Congress (NC) Girija Prasad Koirala today suggested that King Gyanendra should abdicate as per the people’s aspirations.

Talking to the journalists at his residence before leaving for the capital on Monday, Koirala said: “The King should have stepped down long ago. However there still is ample time, the king should abdicate his throne as per the wishes of people.” Koirala was of the view that such astep by the king would give a new direction to the country.

Stating that the king’s own activities have put him in a tight spot, Koirala said that the king’s activities have paved way for republican set-up in the country. “In some sense, a ‘republic’ has been declared in the nation as claimed by Maoist chairman Prachanda”, Koirala said.

Reminding that the first session of Constituent Assembly will decide on the fate of the monarchy of the king, Koirala stated: “If the king continues his activities, then the nation could be declared a republic by the parliament with he consent of eight parties.”

Koirala also urged the Maoists to make public the actual number of weaponries they have. “I urge chairman Prachanda to make public the factual information about their arms, as there still is much doubt over that”, he said.

Prachanda threatens republic announcement

Baglung, March 12, 2007

The Maoists will announce a republic from parliament and the streets if tomorrow’s all-party meeting failed to constitute an interim government and set a date for elections to a constituent assembly, Maoist chietain Prachanda announced today.

Saying that his party has registered a proposal for announcing a republic in the parliament, he said: “Our party will initiate actions in the parliament while the people will agitate on the streets.” Addressing to the mass meeting here today, he said that the country would face a constitutional crisis and political blunder if formation of an interim government is government is delayed and no date is set for constituent assembly poll.

All understandings reached between SPA, Maoists and government and recently promulgated interim constitution clearly stipulated that the constituent assembly polls would be held by mid-June, he added. He finished his remarks in the programme in four minutes due to bad weather.

Talking to the journalists at a press conference held this evening after the mass meeting with regard to the palace conspiracy to kill US officials posted in Nepal, he said his party is continuing investigations in this regard.

A partial evidence is in our hands and a press conference would be held in Kathmandu to shed light on it once we are able to get the evidence in full, he added.

He also said that he had made a verbal agreement with the prime minister that the PM would speak to the countrymen regarding a republic.