Friday, May 19, 2006

A Nepali Magna Carta

First the revolution, now the constitution: Nepal's newly reinstated parliament has unanimously approved constitutional changes which will strip the king of his powers and reduce him to a ceremonial figure. The Nepalese army will be placed under the control of Parliament, the royal council will be scrapped, and the royal family will be forced to pay tax. It's being described as a Nepalese Magna Carta, and its certainly as groundbreaking as far as they're concerned. And this is only the beginning; the next step is a Constituent Assembly to consider wider constitutional questions, such as a republic.

Nepal's political parties (and even the Maoists) are absolutely united on this. What's unclear is whether the king will accept it. He'd be wise to - otherwise he's likely to find himself monarch only in name, and his "kingdom" limited to whatever hotel he ends up living in in exile.

More details at United We Blog: For a Democratic Nepal.