We will present yet another surprise to the world by peacefully negotiating the king’s exit from Narayanhiti Royal Palace.- Prachanda, Maoist Chairman who might lead the next government in Nepal
Prachanda wants ‘graceful exit’ for king: In an interview with the Kathmandu Post’s Ghanashyam Ojha on Friday Maoist Chairman Prachanda says he is in favor of providing King Gyanendra a “graceful exit” from the throne that the Shah dynasty has occupied for the last 240 years. He told the Post that he has initiated consultations with various diplomatic missions and leaders of other political parties on what such a “graceful exit” might be. “The king should not be ousted from the throne in a humiliating manner,” he said. He was not sure what that graceful exit could be. But he hinted that there would be no further action against him if he obeyed the verdict of the people.
Prachanda says: “Even after he leaves the throne he should be allowed to continue with his business affairs or other activities, including engagement in politics in future if he so desires. We will present yet another surprise to the world by peacefully negotiating the king’s exit from Narayanhiti Royal Palace. If necessary, I am even ready to meet him. There is no alternative to abolishing the monarchy through the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly and we will do just that. If we fail, Nepal will plunge into another crisis.
“The mandate of the Constituent Assembly election was to draft a new constitution and take the peace process to its conclusion. The parties haven’t yet fulfilled the people’s mandate, so they all should stay on in the ruling coalition to fulfill it. Since the Constituent Assembly election was meant for drafting a new constitution, there is no question of winners and losers. We are open to discussion and the next government will be formed through consensus.” Prachanda, however, said parallel power centers should not be created during this transition, as this could complicate the political process. “One person should have control and command, whether it is the president or prime minister,” he said.
Baburam Bhattarai, the Maoist second-in-command, said Friday (18 April) that King Gyanendra had 28 days to vacate the palace and if he did not do so the people would force him to do. Asked in an interview with BBC Nepali Service how long people would have to wait to see the king walking out of the palace, Bhattarai said: “The king would have to return to his own residence (which is being renovated, see inside) from the palace in four weeks since through the constituent assembly election, people gave given us the mandate to turn Nepal into a republic”. He added that King could remain in the country like an ordinary ‘law-abiding’ citizen. After the royal family’s exit, the palace would be turned into a museum, Bhattarai said.
Meanwhile the renovation of King Gyanendra’s private residence at Nirmal Niwas in Kathmandu has been intensified, reports THT. A report in Annapurna Post quoting sources said on Friday (18 April) that the renovation which had been going on for quite some time now was intensified after the polling was completed for the CA elections on April 10. “Renovation and extension of some structures in Nirmal Niwas has been going on for some time now,” a source said, adding, construction of additional rooms has also been undertaken.
The source also said that there are plans of building a new structure in the northern part of Nirmal Niwas and the work on it would begin in few days. The report also said that construction of a helipad inside the King’s private residence had also been undertaken. Late King Mahendra had constructed Nirmal Niwas for then prince Gyanendra 36 years ago. King Gyanendra along with Queen Komal have been residing in Narayanhiti Royal Palace ever since the royal massacre of June 1, 2001.