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Nepal Constituent Assembly abolishes monarchy, declares republic

[JURIST] The 601-member Nepalese Constituent Assembly voted Wednesday to abolish the country's monarchy and establish a republic. The decision gives King Gyanendera [JURIST news archive] fifteen days to abandon the royal palace in the capital Kathmandu, and declares him to be an ordinary citizen. Wednesday's vote finalizes a development that had been expected since December 2007, when Nepal's interim parliament voted to abolish the monarchy [JURIST report] as part of a plan to bring members of the Communist Party of Nepal - Maoists (CPN-M) [party website] back into government. In addition to dethroning the king, the Constituent Assembly will work on drafting a new constitution [JURIST report] and electing a president to head the new republic. BBC has more. eKantipur has local coverage.

The Constituent Assembly was elected in April [JURIST report] after voting dominated by the CPN-M. On Monday, Nepalese authorities banned protests near the royal enclaves [JURIST report] in anticipation of rallies and celebrations marking the expected abolition of the monarchy. The establishment of the Constituent Assembly and the abolition of the monarchy were the main parts of a 2006 peace agreement [text; JURIST report] between the CPN-M and the Nepalese government, which marked the end of a 10-year Maoist insurgency [JURIST report].

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