Nepal's ex-king says monarchy far from over

A file photo of Nepal's deposed King Gyanendra as he addresses the media at the Narayanhiti royal palace in Kathmandu June 11, 2008. REUTERS/Gopal Chitrakar/Files

KATHMANDU (Reuters) - Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra has said monarchy is far from over in the Himalayan nation although he admitted that his taking control five years ago, which led to the abolition of monarchy, was a mistake.

“I don’t think that monarchy has ended,” Gyanendra told the independent Avenues television channel in an interview late on Wednesday.

Gyanendra sacked a civilian government in early 2005 and took absolute powers saying the move was necessary to crush a then raging anti-monarchy Maoist insurgency.

But his absolute rule ended the following year after violent anti-king protests paved the way for the Maoists to end the conflict and join the political mainstream.

A special assembly dominated by the Maoists abolished the monarchy in 2008 and turned the majority-Hindu nation into a secular republic.

Gyanendra has since been living a quiet life at his private home in Kathmandu.

A pro-monarchy party shut down Nepal’s capital Kathmandu in a general strike recently, demanding a referendum on the future of the monarchy.

Reporting by Gopal Sharma