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Nepal parties agree on abolishing monarchy under governance deal

[JURIST] Representatives of Nepal's leading political parties signed an agreement Sunday that would abolish the country's monarchy as part of a plan to bring members of Communist Party of Nepal - Maoists (CPN-M) [party website] back into the country's government. The agreement contemplates calling a special assembly in early 2008 to rewrite the country's constitution and eliminate the monarchy after that. Nepal's Maoist Communists left Nepal's interim government [JURIST news archive] in protest in September and have been boycotting future elections over the monarchy issue. they insist the monarchy should be scrapped as Nepal transitions to a republic. The current monarch, King Gyanendra [BBC profile], gained political notoriety in 2005 when he dissolved the civilian government and seized power [JURIST report] himself. A High Level Probe Commission later concluded [JURIST report] that Gyanendra and some 200 members of his administration were responsible for violent response to pro-democracy protests that left 22 dead and more than 5,000 wounded before the King relinquished governmental control.

Nepal's House of Representatives adopted [JURIST report] a draft of an interim constitution [eKantipur highlights] in January; the document was notably silent on whether the king would retain head of state duties. AP has more.

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