By Royal Appointment

When King Gyanendra reinstated Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba last week, it seemed that Nepal's bumpy political merry-go-round had come full circle. The King first sacked Deuba in October 2002, accusing the Prime Minister of "incompetence" for failing to unite Nepal's fractious political parties and crush the kingdom's bloody Maoist insurgency. Since then, Gyanendra has appointed—and seen depart—two more Prime Ministers, endured months of violent protests against his royalist government, and watched the Maoist rebellion claim as many as 3,000 lives. Thus his decision to return Deuba to power was widely viewed as an admission of failure—and a victory...

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