Hundreds Protest Abolition of Nepal's Monarchy

Hundreds of supporters of Nepal's King Gyanendra gathered in the capital, Kathmandu, to protest plans to abolish the country's 240-year-old monarchy.

Monday's demonstration follows last month's decision by lawmakers to turn Nepal into a republic after elections scheduled for April.

About 15-hundred people participated in the rally, which was organized by a pro-monarchist political party.

Nepal's monarchy slipped in popularity after King Gyanendra took absolute powers in 2005, citing the government's failure to quell the country's 10-year communist insurgency.

Widespread protests forced the king to step down and relinquish most of his powers in April 2006.

In December of 2007, the country's main political parties agreed to make Nepal a republic as soon as a Constituent Assembly, charged with rewriting the constitution, is elected. The decision was part of a deal to resolve a political deadlock with the Maoists, who had been demanding the immediate abolition of the monarchy.