The King versus the People: The Abolition of Monarchy and Constitution Making in Nepal

26 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2013

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

The abolition of the institution of monarchy on May 28, 2008 marks a turning point in the political and constitutional history of Nepal. This saga of constitutional development exemplifies the systemic conflict between people’s’ aspirations for democracy and kings’ ambitions for unlimited power. With the abolition of the monarchy, the process of making a new constitution for the Republic of Nepal has started under the auspices of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal. This paper primarily examines the reasons or causes behind the abolition of monarchy in Nepal. It analyzes the three main reasons for the abolition of monarchy. First, it argues that frequent slights and attacks to constitutionalism by the Nepalese kings had brought the institution of the monarchy to its end. The continuous failures of the early democratic government and the Supreme Court of Nepal in bringing the monarchy within the constitutional framework emphatically weakened the fledgling democracy, but these failures eventually became fatal to the monarchical institution itself. Second, it analyzes the indirect but crucial role of India in the abolition of monarchy. Third, it explains the ten-year-long Maoist insurgency and how the people’s movement culminated with its final blow to the monarchy. Furthermore, this paper also analyzes why the peace and constitution writing process has yet to take concrete shape or make significant process, despite the abolition of the monarchy. Finally, it concludes by recapitulating the main arguments of the paper.

Keywords: King, People, Abolition of Monarchy, Nepal, Constitution Making

Suggested Citation

Bhandari, Surendra, The King versus the People: The Abolition of Monarchy and Constitution Making in Nepal (June 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2367755 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2367755

Surendra Bhandari (Contact Author)

Law Associates Nepal ( email )

Kathmandu
Kathmandu
Nepal

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