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Six Months On, Nepal's King Seeks to Consolidate Control Despite Opposition

  • VOA News

Nepal's King Gyanendra is tightening his grip on power six months after he took direct control of the country - but he still faces a more than nine-year-old Maoist rebellion and growing calls for restoring democracy.

King Gyanendra fired the elected government and seized absolute power in February, saying it was necessary to deal with the Maoist insurgency and improve stability in a country ruled by weak governments.

The king has jailed a number of his political opponents since then, despite calls from the international community and from within Nepal to restore democracy.

Reports from Katmandu say press censorship continues and many political opponents, including the deposed prime minister, remain in jail. The capital is more secure from rebel attacks, but violence scars the countryside where the rebels' grip is still strong.
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