Ex-Nepal PM Koirala passes away

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Kathmandu, Mar 20 (ANI): Formal Nepal Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala died today at his daughter Sujata Koirala's residence in Mandikatar.

A chronic patient of pulmonary diseases, Koirala was suffering from chest and urinary tract infection for months.

Minister for Irrigation Bal Krishna Khand told mediapersons that Koirala passed away at 12.10 p.m. today.

Born on 1925, Koirala 85, had been Prime Minister of Nepal four times, serving from 1991 to 1994, 1998 to 1999, 2000 to 2001, and from 2006 to 2008; he was also Acting Head of State from January 2007 to July 2008.

He had been active in politics for over sixty years and is a pioneer of the Nepalese labour movement, having started a labor movement in the Jute mills of his hometown Biratnagar.

In 1991 he became the first democratically elected Prime Minister since 1959, when his brother B. P. Koirala and the Nepali Congress party swept the country's first democratic election.

In Nepal's first multi-party democratic election in 1991, Koirala was elected as a Member of Parliament from the Morang-1 and Sunsari-5 constituencies. He was subsequently elected as the leader of the Nepali Congress parliamentary party and was appointed as Prime Minister by King Birendra.

During his first term, the house of representatives enacted legislation to liberalize education, media and health sectors in the country.

In November 1994 he called for a dissolution of parliament and general elections after a procedural defeat on the floor of the House when 36 Members of Parliament (MPs) of his party went against a government-sponsored vote of confidence.

This led to the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist)-led coalition coming to power in the elections that followed.

Koirala took over as Prime Minister from Surya Bahadur Thapa following the collapse of the coalition government led by Thapa. Koirala first headed a Nepali Congress minority government until December 25, 1998 after which he headed a three-party coalition government with the Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and the Nepal Sadhbhawana Party.

He again became Prime Minister in 2000 for his third term following the resignation of Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, under whose leadership party had won the parliamentary election.

After the reinstatement of the Nepal House of Representatives, Pratinidhi Sabha, on 24 April 2006 following the Loktantra Andolan, Koirala was selected to become Prime Minister by the leaders of the Seven Party Alliance.

On 1 April 2007, Koirala was re-elected as Prime Minister to head a new government composed of the SPA and the CPN (Maoist). (ANI)

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