There were celebrations across Nepal last week as the Himalayan kingdom declared itself a republic, and gave the former king notice to quit his palace.
Maoist activists – whose party emerged as the biggest single block after elections to a new assembly earlier this year – have erected signs that read “Property of the Federal Republic of Nepal” at a further seven palaces used by the former king.
As euphoria at the departure of the monarch starts to subside, a bitter political battle about the future government is emerging.
The former ruling party, the Nepalese Congress, is seeking to block the Maoists from holding the seats of both president and prime minister.
Millions of poor people have put their hopes in the Maoists leading an administration that initiates modernisation of the state, massive land reform and the redistribution of wealth.
Some now worry that pressure on the Maoists to compromise with the Congress party and the international community could lead to the former guerrilla fighters watering down their more radical proposals.
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