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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 February 2008, 14:09 GMT
Nepal king criticises parliament
Supporter of King Gyanendra at Monday's rally
The king argues that he still retains some support
King Gyanendra of Nepal has criticised the recent decision by the country's parliament to abolish the monarchy.

In comments to Japanese journalists, the king said the move did not reflect popular opinion.

Correspondents say that during the course of his remarks, published in the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper, the king appeared to criticise the Maoist party.

He said some party leaders had tried to take action that was against Nepal's traditional values.

The Maoists have consistently called for the abolition of the monarchy in Nepal, which was one of their central demands while fighting a 10-year civil war which ended in 2006.

'Great meaning'

The king reportedly said the decision to abolish the monarchy "doesn't reflect the majority view of the people".

"This isn't democracy," he was quoted as saying. "Some leaders have tried to take action that's against cultural, social and traditional values.

"A majority of the people find great meaning in the institution of the monarchy.

"In all clouds, there is a silver lining. Let us hope," he said.

Maoists in Nepal
The Maoists have been accused of reneging on their promises

But the king was also reported by the Japanese newspaper as conceding that the Nepalese people do have the right to choose the fate of monarchy.

"The Nepali people themselves should speak out on where the nation is heading, on the direction it is taking and on why it is becoming chaotic," he said.

A parliamentary vote in December determined that the country will be declared a republic in April, formally ending nearly 250 years of dynastic rule.

The current ruling dynasty in Nepal dates back to 1769.

It was rocked in June 2001 when the then Crown Prince Dipendra shot dead his parents, King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, and seven other members of the royal family before killing himself.

This brought to the throne Gyanendra, the former king's brother.

'Blatant violation'

In a separate development, the Maoists have been criticised for trying to resurrect a council that operated as their "parallel government" during the insurgency.

The biggest political party, the Nepali Congress, said the decision was a blatant violation of a peace agreement under which the Maoists had dissolved their United Revolutionary People's Council.

The Maoists have denied the body will resume the sort of governing, tax-collecting role it played during the years of fighting.

They say it will work to implement development in the countryside.

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