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Royal coup in Nepal
10/6/2002 10:23:00 AM

KATHMANDU, Nepal -- The elected prime minister of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, advised the postponement of the scheduled elections from November 13, 2002 to November 19 of next year. In response, Nepal’s King Gyanendra has used “the authority vested in him by the constitution” to remove the elected prime minister for failing to hold elections on time.

Deuba says that the king’s action does not fall within those granted by the constitution, and that only a parliamentary vote can remove the prime minister. However, the Nepali residents seem quite detached from the king’s announcement.

This “royal coup” is the first since 1960 when King Mahendra removed the late prime minister Bisheshwar Prasad Koirala.

In a statement by the monarch, he said he has no intention of keeping executive power for himself and expects the political parties to nominate a new candidate by Wednesday. Failing that, the king would form an interim government to fill the position.

The political parties, inundated by past leadership rivalries, are now forced to work together to form a common strategy in response to the king's action.

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