There are some evidences that a gentleman agreement was made between the then king Gyanendra and the political parties to give space to the king.
By Pushpa Raj Pradhan
After the Democracy Day message by the former King last Thursday, a new debate has taken place in intellectual as well as political groupings. Former King Gyanendra had asked the political parties to implement the understanding and agreement endorsed between him and the political leaders. A section of political leaders are saying that there was no agreement or understanding between the then king and the political parties. Krishna Sitaula, Madhav Kumar Nepal, KP Oli have claimed that there was no agreement between the then king and the political parties.
However, there are some evidences that a gentleman agreement was made between the then king Gyanendra and the political parties to give space to the king.
Madhav Nepal, although claimed that there was no agreement with the King, said that it was agreed to handover all powers enjoyed by the King. Understandably, it was agreed to keep a powerless king or say powerless but constitutional king.
Meanwhile, UCPNM leader Baburam Bhattarai had given a statement saying that the space of cultural king can be given to the monarchy.
In April 2006, when the political uprising was taking momentum, Karan Singh, chief of the Foreign Relation Committee of the Indian Congress came to Kathmandu at the capacity of the special envoy of the then Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh. Immediately after the meeting between the then King Gyanendra and Karan Singh, the King wished to handover executive power to the political parties. The King’s first address to the nation was rejected by the political parties. Then, the King delivered a next address in which the King had only written one sentence, “Jaya Nepal” otherwise, the entire text was drafted by the leaders in agitation – Girija Prasad Koirala, Madhav Nepal, Ramchandra Poudel, Bharatmohan Adhikari, among others.
As per the agreement, the King, by using unconstitutional power, had revived the erstwhile dissolved parliament.
Girija Prasad Koirala became the prime minister and he had taken oath of the office from the King at the Narayanhitty Royal Palace.
According to Tarun vernacular weekly, on 18 May, 2007, the revived parliament had amended the 1990 Constitution. In that constitution, many powers enjoyed by the King were cut-down. They were: dissolve of the Royal Council Standing Committee; the parliament to draft the law related to inheritor of the throne; canceling the provision of the king becoming the supreme commander of the Nepal Army; the court could look after any case registered against the activities of the King and the King also should pay tax on his property.
The then prime minister Koirala had coined that announcement of the parliament as “Magna Carta” as a historical document which should be followed by all. Koirala had said, “If anybody violates this law, he will be finished.”
Magna Carta was a historical document of the agreement between the British Royal Palace and the parliament. PM Koirala had thus coined the announcement of the parliament as “Magna Carta” as an agreement between the King and the political parties. As the King didn’t violate the “Magna Carta” by himself, it is obvious for him to seek his space, the Weekly has commented.
Furthermore, the King revived parliament had also discussed on making heir of the throne to the eldest daughter of the King. All these evidences indicate that there was no space for a republic and the institution of monarchy was to continue.
But conspiracy to remove the institution was started since the introduction of the interim constitution. It was written in the interim constitution that the nation will be declared a republic by the first meeting of the constituent assembly. So far, the CA was not a legitimate body to take such a big decision of removing the institution of monarchy.
Girija Prasad Koirala was in a regular contact with the Palace through the King’s Principal Secretary Pashupatibhakta Maharjan. Koirala had always assured to the King that he would be given space. Just before the announcement of the interim constitution, he betrayed the King. He stopped meeting with the King’s Principal secretary Maharjan.
Koirala also brought the concept of “baby king”. When he was meeting with a team of journalists from Pakistan, talking about the future of the Institution of Monarchy, Koirala had said that the institution can be continued with a “baby king”.
These are the evidences that there were understanding and agreement for continuation of the institution of monarchy.
Source: People’s Review weekly