Nepal Opposition announces new protests, puts pressure on king | india | Hindustan Times
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Nepal Opposition announces new protests, puts pressure on king

Nepal's opposition parties have announced a new round of nationwide protests to restore democracy, piling fresh pressure on King Gyanendra.

india Updated: Feb 25, 2006 16:08 IST

Nepal's opposition parties have announced a new round of nationwide protests to restore democracy, piling fresh pressure on King Gyanendra who seized power a year ago.

The announcement of the protest programme was a riposte to King Gyanendra'solive branch to political parties last week, in which he asked them to take part in talks and push forward "the stalled democratic process."

"The seven-party alliance's Joint Movement Taskforce Committee has decided to launch nationwide protests against autocracy," RajendraPrasadPandey, a leading member of the Nepal Communist Party (United Marxist Leninist), said.

Pandeysaid that the new protest campaign would begin on Wednesday and would be capped by nationwide demonstrations on March 11.

The planned rallies and demonstrations by the parties have been timed to take place just ahead of a wave of protests announced by Maoist rebels.

The mainstream opposition political parties and the Maoists have formed a loose alliance to press for the restoration of democracy and the staging of elections for a constituent assembly, to draft a new constitution that would decide the king's role.

Pandey said one of the aims of the protests organised by the seven-party alliance would be to force the resignation of officials elected in last month's controversial municipal elections.

The polls were billed by the king as a first step toward restoring democracy by April 2007, but had been boycotted by the opposition parties as a "sham."