28 May:Nepal will formally abolish its once-revered monarchy, creating a new republic in the Himalayas and meeting a key demand of rebels who fought a bitter insurgency seeking to rid the country of its royalty.
A special assembly elected in April is set to hold its first meeting on Wednesday and will vote to abolish the monarchy. The motion is expected to be approved, although some royalists may oppose the move.
Unpopular King Gyanendra is expected to vacate his palace in the capital Kathmandu soon after the vote, although he has made no comment on his plans.
"This is an epoch-making event that has become possible after a long struggle of the Nepali people," Maoist chief Prachanda said, referring to a decade-long insurgency that began in 1996 in which more than 13,000 people died.
"For the first time Nepal is being declared a republic. This is not an ordinary thing," he added.
Abolishing the 239-year-old monarchy was a key part of the peace deal with Maoist former rebels, who emerged as the largest party in elections to the 601-member assembly in April.
Security is tight in the capital, which is tense after a series of bomb blasts, some blamed on pro-royalist groups, in the city over the past few days. No one was killed in the explosions.
The government has banned rallies near the assembly venue and other royal sites but thousands of anti-monarchists say they will take to the streets to celebrate anyway. Courtsey : dd news