Nepal can now have Queen as head of state | india | Hindustan Times
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Nepal can now have Queen as head of state

india Updated: Aug 01, 2006 15:57 IST

The Nepal Cabinet has approved a landmark legislation aimed at ending the gender-bias in monarchy and permitting women to ascend the throne.

The bill approved on Monday allows the eldest child of the monarch to inherit the throne, irrespective of gender.

The draft legislation will become a law after Parliament approves it and Nepal may then have a queen for a head of state.

For centuries, Nepal's monarchy has been following the tradition of male ascension.

The decision also means Princess Purnika, Crown Prince Paras's daughter and eldest child, and not his son Hridayendra will be declared his heir in time.

Passed by the Cabinet in principle, the bill will have to be tabled in the House of Representatives in the ongoing session, a senior minister said.

It also has a provision that a committee chaired by the Prime Minister will be set up to select the heir.

The panel will include as members the Chief Justice, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Opposition leader in the House, among others.

In April this year massive street protests across the Himalayan Kingdom had brought an end to the 14-month direct rule by King Gyanendra, who ascended to the throne in June 2001 in after his brother King Birendra and other royals were murdered by the crown prince, who later killed himself.

On May 18 a Parliament Declaration stripped the monarch of his power to select the heir to the throne.

The cabinet also amended the law on Royal Household Expenditure, limiting the recipients of state benefits to the King, queen, crown prince, crown princess, Yuvarani (if she is the eldest daughter ascending to the throne) and the queen mother.