1. King Birendra, who formally remained the head of the state, accepted the transition from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy with the real power being vested in the popularly elected representatives. However, he was killed in a mysterious massacre of the Royal Family in 2001.
2. King Gyanendra, the new king, was not prepared to accept democratic governance and in February 2005, he dismissed the Prime Minister and also dissolved the popularly elected parliament.
3. In response to the situation, all major political parties in the parliament formed a Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and called for a four-day strike in Kathmandu. The protest soon turned into an indefinite strike in which maoist insurgents and various other organisations joined hands. People defied the curfew and took to the streets.
4. The security forces found themselves unable to take control. The no. of the protestors increased day by day and about three and five lakhs of people served an ultimatum to the king on 21 April. The leaders of the movement remained firm in their decision of restoring democracy and rejected the half-hearted concessions made by the king.
5. On the last day of the ultimatum (24 April 2006), the king was forced to accept all the demands of the people. Consequently, the SPA chose Girija Prasad Koirala as the new Prime Minister of the interim government. The parliament was eventually restored and laws were passed to take away most of the powers of the king.
NOTE - Nepal witnessed an extraordinary popular movement in April 2006 which was aimed at restoring democracy. The experience of the struggle for democracy in Nepal shows that the power that lies in the hands of people is much stronger than in the hands of the rulers.
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