If This Democracy Thing Doesn’t Work…

As Nepal moves through a two-month deadline to deliver a new constitution, Nepal’s former monarch said that monarchy is not yet over. But is it possible? Former King Gyanendra says that “if the people want,” then it is possible. The former king’s statement just came after the demise of Nepal’s founding father, Girija Prashad Koirala. But, Gyanendra faces an uphill battle to restore the 240-year-old monarchy, which was abolished in 2008. First reason: Nepal is already a federal democratic republic, and most of the people have voted for a democratic framework where an elected citizen can become a president and a prime minister. Second: there are many leaders and activists advocating for democratic republic, and far fewer who are advocating for monarchy.

Former king has increased his public appearances, participating in religious programs, and consulting with people close to him. He seems to be more confident at the present time.

And, while it’s true that the former King is taking advantage of present political instability, this has suddenly made the political parties serious about the constitutional and peace processes. Political leaders in Nepal, including the Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal termed his statement “a day dream”.

So then there is a final question: could a possible come back for the former king come in the form of new party? People close to Gyanendra say that there is not much preparation for one, which means he is less likely to be successful in winning major seats in the election. But the former king’s statement has given a clear hint that he is not going to sit silently as he has done in the last two years.

–Rajneesh Bhandari


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