Nepal’s King Gyanendra dismisses the government, claims power for himself

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Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Kathmandu, Nepal —The King of Nepal, Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, has dissolved the coalition government, accusing it of factional fighting and failing in its duty to protect democracy. Several key political figures in the old coalition have been put under house arrest, including the leader of the Nepal Communist Party.

The king has said that he removed the government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba because "it has failed to make necessary arrangements to hold elections by April and protect democracy, the sovereignty of the people and life and property". The king had repeatedly called on Deuba to set a date for elections despite threats by Maoist rebels to block any vote.

"I have exercised my rights given to the crown under the present constitution and I have, therefore, dissolved the government for the larger interests," the king said.

This announcement occurs with the backdrop of a continuing civil war which has claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people since 1996.

This story has updates
See Nepal's King names new cabinet, February 2, 2005