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Nepal’s King Reshuffles Cabinet

December 7, 2005

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ King Gyanendra reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday, removing some key members and appointing new faces amid growing opposition from major political parties and Communist rebels.

The announcement came just days after the king returned from a three-week tour of Africa, during which Nepal’s seven major political parties and Maoist rebels signed an agreement to step up opposition against him.

The king removed some controversial members from the Cabinet while members from the royalist Rastriya Prajatantra Party were given some important portfolios.

The monarch took over absolute power Feb. 1 and formed a government under his chairmanship. He has been criticized for the power grab and has been facing street protests.

The king said he took absolute power to end corruption and quell a communist insurgency that has claimed nearly 12,000 lives in nine years.

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