Nepal king reinstates parliament in response to pro-democracy protests

[JURIST] Nepal's King Gyanendra [official website; BBC profile] on Monday reinstated the Nepal House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament dissolved by the then prime minister in 2002, saying that the assembly would convene on Friday. In a televised address [transcript], Gyanendra said:

Convinced that the source of State Authority and Sovereignty of the Kingdom of Nepal is inherent in the people of Nepal and cognizant of the spirit of the ongoing people's movement as well as to resolve the on-going violent conflict and other problems facing the country according to the road map of the agitating Seven Party Alliance, we, through this Proclamation, reinstate the House of Representatives which was dissolved on 22 May 2002 on the advice of the then Prime Minister in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal-1990. We call upon the Seven Party Alliance to bear the responsibility of taking the nation on the path to national unity and prosperity, while ensuring permanent peace and safeguarding multiparty democracy. We also summon the session of the reinstated House of Representatives at the Sansad Bhawan, Singha Durbar at 1 P.M. on Friday, 28 April 2006.
Gyanendra also expressed his condolences for the lives that have been lost during the past several weeks of pro-democracy protests [JURIST news archive].

Last week, Gyanendra promised to restore democracy to the country [JURIST report], but the seven-member alliance of opposition parties rejected the pledge [JURIST report] because it did not include plans to create a constitution [current text] that would strip the king of most of his powers and did not set a date for prime ministerial elections. In his speech Monday, Gyanendra did not address demands for a new constitution. AP has more.

 

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