Nepali parties' supporters gather in Katmandu

By Alex Steblinina. At least 30,000 supporters of Nepal’s main political parties gathered in the capital on Monday to mark the beginning of new political direction.

People marched though Katmandu and gathered at the rally ground in the heart of city, the AP reports.

People gathered to hear the leader’s speech, police said. No violence was reported.

The government announced last week that polls to elect a Constituent Assembly to map the country's political future will be held on April 10. The election is a key part of the Himalayan nation's peace process, which saw communist rebels (Maoists) give up a decade-long armed revolt.

Both government and Maoists agreed last month to abolish the centuries-old monarchy immediately after the elections.

In 1996, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) started a bid to replace the parliamentary system with a socialist republic. This has led to the Nepal Civil War in the deaths of more than 12,000. On June 1, 2001, the Heir Apparent Crown Prince Dipendra was accused of a massacre in the royal palace, a violent response to his parents' refusal to accept his choice of wife. After the massacre, the King and the Queen were dead and the Crown Prince would have committed suicide. Following the carnage, the throne was inherited by Birendra's brother Gyanendra.On February 1, 2005, Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and assumed full executive powers to quash the Maoist movement. In September 2005, the Maoists declared a three-month unilateral ceasefire.

Following the 2006 democracy movement, the king agreed to relinquish the sovereign power back to the people and reinstated the dissolved House of Representatives on April 24, 2006. Using its newly acquired sovereign authority, on May 18, 2006, the newly resumed House of Representatives unanimously passed a motion to curtail the power of the king and declared Nepal a secular state.


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