O n May 28, 2008, Nepal formally embarked upon its new destiny as a federal republic. At its first meeting, the newly elected Constituent Assembly abolished the 240-year old Shah monarchy and instructed the last king, Gyanendra Shah, to vacate the royal palace within 15 days.
The declaration formalized the preelection promise of the political parties. Under the Constituent Assembly (CA), elections held on April 10, 2008, no single party had achieved a majority in the 601member Assembly. But there had been, nevertheless, a massive victory for the parties supporting a federal republic.
Republicanism and federalism rode a strong nation-wide political wave during the April 2006 popular uprising and no party could risk resisting it. Contrary to speculation, former King Gyanendra, along with his wife, Komal, quietly left the palace, handing over crown and sceptre to government officials. For many, the creation of the republic was complete when the Assembly elected the President and Vice President on July 22, 2008, clearing the way for the much-awaited formation of the new government and transfer of power.
On August 15, 2008, the Assembly elected Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda,” chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist (CPN-Maoist), as the prime minister with an overwhelming majority. The interim constitution provides for a government based on consensus. Since the political parties (chiefly the Nepali Congress) did