Gyanendra Shah (Nepali: ज्ञानेन्द्र वीर बिक्रम शाह; Jñānendra Vīra Bikrama Śāh) (born 7 July 1947) is the last King of Nepal. During his life, he has held the title of the King twice: first between 1950 and 1951 as a child when his grandfather Tribhuvan was forced into exile in India with the rest of his family; and from 2001 to 2008, following the Nepalese royal massacre.
King Gyanendra's second reign ended in 2008, when the monarchy was abolished and the interim Federal Republic of Nepal formed in its place. Gyanendra became a private citizen and was stripped of his royal status. His decision to impose direct rule under the pretext of restoring law and order in the country caused the Maoist insurgency and the moderate democratic political parties to unite in opposition to his absolute rule, an alliance which under any other circumstances would have been extraordinarily unlikely.
Unable to hold the election on time, the then Prime Minister of Nepal Sher Bahadur Deuba, repeatedly asked for continuances with the King. Citing the failure of the Prime Minister to hold the election, King Gyanendra sacked the cabinet and assumed power and formed a new government. In February 2005, King Gyanendra took complete control of the government, dismissing the elected parliament (Parliament was dismissed in 2002 when King Gyanendra sacked the government of PM Sher Bahadur Deuba). He gave assurances that the country will return to normalcy and prosperity in three years.. Some citizens tired of corruption welcomed this move, but the political parties claimed this action as loss of democracy. Following opposition to his direct rule he was forced to return power to the parliament in April 2006, which in turn reduced the King's status to that of a ceremonial monarch. He continued as such until 28 May 2008 when the Constituent Assembly controlled by the Maoists decided to depose him and declared Nepal an interim republic until a republican constitution was promulgated. The constitution drafting deadline expired on May 28, 2010 with no new constitution in place. Legal analysts have ruled that the interim parliament had only two year term and since it failed to deliver the constitution, the constitution of 1990 which considers Nepal's king as the sovereign, has been automatically reactivated. There are, however, disputes and the expired Assembly still is ruling the nation. There have been some calls from parties loyal to the monarchy for a referendum to decide on the need for a monarchy after the constitutional crisis brought about the resignation of the Maoist-led government.