Loktantra Diwas, or “Democracy Day”, is a holiday in Nepal. It occurs every 24 April and commemorates the restoration of Nepal’s representative assembly in 2006 after it was dismissed by the king in 2005.
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Nepal’s monarchy has deep historical roots and used to have all governmental power at its disposal. But in 1951, the long lived Rana Dynasty ended and democratic reforms were introduced, making Nepal a constitutional, limited monarchy. Prajatantra Diwas, also sometimes called Democracy Day, should not be confused with Loktantra Diwas. The former celebrates the coming of democracy to Nepal, while the latter celebrates its restoration.
After 54 years of democracy in Nepal, King Gyanendra seized control as absolute monarch in 2005. He dissolved parliament and sent them all home, powerless. Why did he do this? It was because he feared Communist rebels might soon take over the country and felt authoritarian rule was the only thing that could stop that from happening.
Both Communist and non-Communist revolts broke out against the king’s power grab. The Seven Party Alliance stood for the restoration of democracy in Nepal, and on 24 April 2006, the king relented and they achieved their goal.
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