It's Good To Be the King

Nepal's 12-year-old democracy is on the ropes. A string of corrupt governments has failed to tackle the country's poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. A brutal Maoist rebellion has claimed 5,000 lives, including 3,000 since last November. And on Friday the elected government got a stark vote of no confidence: the country's constitutional monarch King Gyanendra—who took the throne 16 months ago after the Crown Prince massacred most of the royal family—went on national TV to say he was firing 'incompetent' Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, postponing next month's parliamentary elections, and temporarily assuming executive powers. Gyanendra says his actions pose no threat...

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