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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 October 2005, 10:22 GMT 11:22 UK
Nepal parliamentary vote pledged
Nepal's King Gyanendra
The king was criticised for his coup
King Gyanendra of Nepal has announced that parliamentary elections will be held by April 2007.

Correspondents say the move is a response to international pressure for him to restore democracy after seizing direct power earlier this year.

India, the US, the EU and others have urged the king to restore democracy.

Opposition parties have promised to boycott any election called by the king, because they say his government is unconstitutional.

Opposition

The king's announcement comes just days after his royal government said municipal elections would be held next February.

He took control of the Himalayan kingdom eight months ago, saying the government had not done enough to quell a Maoist insurgency.

Parliamentary elections were promised within three years.

Opposition parties have held months of protests since the 1 February royal coup and hundreds of activists and leaders have been arrested.

"The security situation has not changed since the king took over. How can the elections be possible?" asked Ram Chandra Poudel, a leader of the main Nepali Congress party.




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