Nepal to Ax Monarchy, Install Republic

Leaders cave after 3-month standoff with Maoists
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2007 6:09 PM CST
Activists and supporters of Nepal's communist party Maoist rebels stage a mass demonstration in Katmandu, Nepal, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2007, demanding the abolition of the monarchy. Nepal's gvernment agreed...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – After almost three months of deadlock, Nepal agreed today to end its 240-year-old monarchy and set up a republic, the BBC reports. Maoist rebels, who had walked out in October and staged violent protests, struck the deal with Nepal's leaders, which will go into effect after elections next spring.

Despite his status as a reincarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu, King Gyanendra’s popularity shrank after he seized power in 2005 and backed off weeks later under pressure from protesters. Maoists and the nation's six-party alliance warned that if Gyanendra tries to thwart next year's elections, parliament "can remove the monarchy even before the polls."