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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
02KATHMANDU1009 2002-05-23 17:09:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Kathmandu
Cable title:  

KING'S VIEWS ON DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT

Tags:   PGOV PREL NP GON 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
					  					
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 001009

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SA/INS
LONDON FOR POL - RIEDEL

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/22/2012
TAGS: PGOV PREL NP GON
SUBJECT: KING'S VIEWS ON DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT

REF: A. (A) KATHMANDU 996



B. (B) KATHMANDU 1005


C. (C) KATHMANDU 1007

Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINWOSKI. REASON: 1.5 (B,D).



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SUMMARY


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1, (C) In a May 23 meeting with Ambassador Malinowski and
British Charge Andrew Mitchell, King Gyanendra emphasized his
support for the Constitutional democracy. The King said he
had tried to impress upon Deuba that the current crisis
presents him an opportunity to address the country's problems
without having to worry about political bickering and
backstabbing. He approved the dissolution contingent upon
Deuba's appointment of a smaller, more efficient,
non-partisan Cabinet. He stressed the importance of the
elections taking place within the stipulated time. End
summary.



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KING SEES "UNFORTUNATE" SITUATION


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2. (C) On the evening of May 23, Ambassador Malinowski and
British Charge Andrew Mitchell met with King Gyanendra to
discuss the dissolution of Parliament and upcoming elections
in November (Ref B). The two envoys also briefed the King on
their meetings earlier with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba
and Opposition Leader Madhav Kumar Nepal (Refs A and C). The
King, who already seemed well apprised of the meetings, said
he viewed the current situation as "unfortunate." Deuba had
told the King that he saw no other alternative to the
dissolution of Parliament when he approached him for his
consent the previous evening, The timing is especially bad,
the King observed, coming as it does on the heels of recent
Army successes against the Maoists and Deuba's successful
visits to the U.S. and UK to marshal international aid
against the insurgency. It is not his role to become
involved in partisan politics, the King emphasized; he deals
only with the Prime Minister on a regular basis. He agreed
with the Ambassador and the British Charge, however, that for
a party president to attempt to force his own views on a
sitting Prime Minister, as Nepali Congress Party President
G.P. Koirala did to Deuba, seems to contradict the true
spirit of democracy. The King revealed that Deuba had come
to him three weeks previously to discuss a possible
dissolution of Parliament. The King had indicated he would
not oppose such a move, but Deuba ultimately decided to give
"party politics" one more chance to play out. (Comment:
Deuba's desire not to visit Washington and London as a prime
minister without a Parliament is another possible reason for
the delay. As we had reported earlier, the PM had floated
the idea of the dissolution of Parliament before us and the
British April 12. End comment.)



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CONTINGENT UPON CABINET


--------------------------





3. (C) The King said he gave Deuba his consent to the May 22
dissolution of the Lower House of Parliament contingent upon
the PM's formation of a small, efficient, non-partisan
Cabinet. He had tried to impress upon the troubled PM that
the crisis actually represents an opportunity for both Deuba
and the nation. Because he doesn't have to worry about
playing politics anymore, Deuba can really focus on solving
the problems his country is grappling with. (The Ambassador
suggested that Deuba could even release his current Cabinet
members from their duties with the explanation that they have
to concentrate on upcoming elections.) The King agreed with
the two envoys' assessment that Deuba may be too fixated on
healing the party rift and on his immediate political future
within the party to concentrate on forming such a Cabinet at
the moment, and expressed hope that the PM will use his May
24 televised address to the nation to speak to some of these
issues. The Ambassador noted the six months before the
election give Deuba an important chance to demonstrate his
seriousness about prosecuting corruption. The King agreed,
but noted that Deuba does not want to appear vindictive by
going after perceived enemies. He urged the Ambassador and
the British CDA to continue their efforts to counsel
politicians from all parties on the need to put the national
interest first before personal political gain at this time.



--------------------------


ELECTIONS ON TIME


--------------------------





4. (C) The King emphasized numerous times that in agreeing
to the dissolution he had also stipulated that the new
elections must not be postponed beyond the November 13
deadline. He reiterated the PM's statement that elections
could be staggered to take place in different districts on
different days (Ref A). He said he had even suggested the PM
open up the elections to the Maoists for participation, if
they have agreed to disarm and have called a ceasefire by
then. (A big if.) Should, however, the elections be
delayed, perhaps for security reasons, the King noted, "I may
have to do something else." He did not elaborate on what
"something else" might be. The Ambassador and Charge
stressed that the Constitution could not be abrogated, no
matter what the situation.


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UPPER HOUSE TO BE DISSOLVED


--------------------------





5. (C) The King reported that he had just received a request
from the Cabinet to dissolve the Upper House of Parliament.
He said he would do so the following day--May 24.



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COMMENT


--------------------------





6. (C) The King's emphasis on the need for timely elections
and his respect for the Constitution are reassuring. More
questionable is his cryptic allusion to having to do
"something else" if events forestall the polls. We will
continue to use every opportunity to stress to the Palace the
need for any action to remain within Constitutional
boundaries. In the next few days, the Ambassador and the
British Charge will have several occasions to meet with other
diplomats and representatives of foreign and international
aid agencies, in which they can emphasize the same themes.
Additional opportunities will occur when the British Charge
sees the King again May 24 in conjunction with the visit of
the Chief of Defense Staff of the British armed forces
(equivalent to our Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff),
and the Ambassador dines with the PM on May 27.
MALINOWSKI