India Intelligence Report

   Nepal Clips King’s Powers


The recently reinstated Nepalese Parliament unanimously voted on a resolution to severely curb the rights of the King, make the country a Republic, abrogate his legal immunity, and aggrandize power over the Army, court, and Constitution to itself. Analysts are doubtful that this resolution is valid as according to the Constitution, the King has to sign all laws for them to be legal. However, politicians argue that the Parliament represents the will of the people and that those who oppose this resolution “will be digging their own grave.”

The resolution seeks to transform the nation from a Hindu country to a secular one. It asked for powers to amend or annul succession laws to nominate an heir to the kingdom and fix annual allowances and privileges. Other cosmetic measures in the resolution were to lose the reference to the King in the Royal Nepal Army and His Majesty’s Government.

In Nepal, the King is considered the incarnation of Vishnu, the Hindu God who protects. However, King Gnanendra has been anything but God-like. Gnanendra came into power in controversial circumstances with a mass murder of his brother and family by supposedly the heir apparent. Next in line, Gnanendra assumed power and has made several bad decisions for himself and his country. He abolished an elected Parliament and installed another in 2002 then dismissed that too in 2005. He estranged his country’s good relations with India, tried to court China, and cut off several support bases voluntarily. He has tried hard to play hardball with the Maoist terrorists but an arms export curb from India severely capped his capacity. While most of his population was under the poverty line and most of his land mass under virtual control of the Maoists, he gave himself a 16% rise in allowances last year. 

If the resolution should come to law and the Constitution is changed, the biggest loser will be Gnanendra’s son Paras. Implicated in several crimes, including manslaughter, firing in crowded places, assaulting people in public, and misbehavior with women, Paras is one of the most hated men in Nepal and hardly be considered an incarnation of Vishnu.

The resolution seeks to rid Gnanendra power over the Army and the Royal Guards. If that should come about, the speculation is that Maoist-inspired investigations leading to witch hunts are not ruled out to persecute those affiliated with the Royal family including Paras’s crimes and the death of Gnanendra’s brother. Devoid of power over the Army, a Privy Council of wise men, and access to courts, Gnanendra may as well abdicate and leave Nepal.

Perhaps, that is the intention of the Seven Party Alliance (SPA).