Nepal votes to abolish the monarchy

No more King Gyanendra in Nepal.

The people of Nepal have voted to abolish their monarchy and become a republic. This is great news for them, or at least for most people. The monarchy has been around for nearly 240 years and has recently come under heavy criticism.

Back in 2005, Gyanendra seized power and dissolved parliament. He argued that the current government wasn’t doing enough to contain the Maoist insurgency. The Maoists were running a guerilla war outside of the capital, and causing significant terror.

But the Maoists have turned things around. In the most recent election, they stood as a political party and won a rather sizeable majority. They held a referendum and the people of Nepal voted to dethrone King Gyanendra, the last of Hindu monarch in the world.

It’s impressive that the Maoists have managed to stop being a widely-condemned armed resistance (one that was on the terrorist watch list in the US) and instead become a recognized government. While it’s easy to say that I wish other “terror” groups around the world would follow this example of legitimate political discourse, I have a feeling it’s easier said than done. Still, I hope this is an example of the way peaceful politics can achieve something a decades long guerilla war could not.

It almost makes me wonder what they’ll call him now. Just Gyanendra? Former King Gyanendra? Hmm.

[Sources: Reuters, CNN]

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