Nepal King to lose remaining legislative role
Political parties have approved sweeping curbs ending the King's control of the army, and making him open to questioning in the courts.india Updated: May 31, 2006 13:22 IST
Nepal's Parliament is expected to consider stripping the King of his remaining parliamentary roles, a lawmaker said on Wednesday, after voting to withdraw most of his powers earlier this month.
King Gyanendra reinstated Parliament in April after weeks of protests against his absolute rule, and political parties soon approved sweeping curbs ending the monarch's control of the army, and making him open to questioning in parliament and the courts.
But any bill passed by parliament still needs the King's signature to become law.
He also opens and closes sessions, and reads out the government's annual policy programme.
"All this will end now," said Narayan Man Bijukchhe, a deputy of the Nepal Workers' and Peasants' Party that is part of a seven-party alliance behind the pro-democracy protests.
Bijukchhe, who heads a panel finalising the proposed changes, said the King would have no role in parliament under the plan.
"The Prime Minister will call the session, present the government's programmes and the speaker will end the parliament session," he told the agency.
Under the proposals, expected to be presented to lawmakers soon, bills will not need the king's signature to become law.
King Gyanendra threw the Himalayan nation into turmoil in 2005 when he sacked the government and took absolute power saying it had failed to crush an anti-monarchy Maoist insurgency that has killed 13,000 people.
Last week, the government and rebels held their first meeting since peace talks failed in 2003.
They agreed to hold elections for an assembly to be tasked with preparing a new constitution and deciding the future of the monarchy, a key Maoist demand.