Long, Rugged Road To Republic
A Photo feature by Sailendra Kharel
More than 13,000 people have been killed and 100,000 displaced in the long armed struggle communist rebels launched against the state in 1996. King Gyanendra was forced to give up direct rule in April 2006 after the rebels decided to join the competitive multi-party democracy and struck a deal with the alliance of the seven political parties on November 22, 2005. An all-party government, including the Maoists, was formed. The rebels then signed a landmark peace deal with the government in November 2006.
April 10th, 2008, was a historic day for the people of Nepal as they voted for the first time for a constituent assembly to decide their own fate, and that of the monarchy as well as write their own constitution. The CPN (Maoist) won the highest number of seats in the election and became the largest political party of Nepal. In May 2008, Nepal was declared a republic ending the 239-year-old reign of the Shah dynasty.