Archive for Friday, February 10, 2006

Thousands protest nation’s king, his power

February 10, 2006

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— Thousands of protesters swept through Katmandu on Thursday as Nepal's political crisis deepened. Early results showed pro-government candidates sweeping local elections, but opponents also claimed victory because so few people voted.

The vote Wednesday was marred by rebel attacks and the shooting of protesters. Security forces were heavily deployed across the city Thursday, and police fired tear gas to disperse two dozen students protesting the king's rule near the royal palace.

With no opposition candidates, royalists were sweeping the municipal elections, which were seen as a test of the king's rule.

But boycotting opposition parties pointed to a turnout of about 20 percent as a sign of how little support King Gyanendra enjoys a year after seizing power.

More than 4,000 demonstrators jammed a densely packed Katmandu neighborhood, waving banners, shouting slogans and calling for punishment of the soldiers who killed a protester in Nepal on election day.

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