Nepalese political parties demand constitutional reforms Jeannie Shawl at 8:53 AM ET
[JURIST] A week after Nepal's King Gyanendra [official website; BBC profile] lifted a state of emergency [JURIST report], the country's seven political parties have joined together to present a common agenda that demands a return to democracy and constitutional reforms to limit the monarchy's power. Speaking on behalf of all the parties, Mahesh Acharya of the Nepali Congress Party [official website] said that reinstating parliament is the top priority of the common agenda. The parties are also calling on Gyanendra to release all political detainees, restore press freedom and scrap a royal anti-corruption body known for targeting political opponents of the king. Gyanendra has faced great international criticism since sacking the government and declaring a state of emergency [JURIST report] in February. The political parties hope that their common agenda will increase pressure on Gyanendra and Nepali Congress President Girija Presad Koirala has called on the US, Britain and India not to resume military assistance [BBC report] to the country unless civil liberties are restored. AP has more. Kantipur Online has local coverage in English.
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