Sushil Koirala, a former Nepalese prime minister and leader of nation’s largest political party, has died in Kathmandu. He was 78.
His doctor, Karbir Nath Yogi, said Tuesday that Koirala died due to complications from pneumonia and respiratory failure.
Koirala was a key figure in adoption of Nepal’s new constitution last September. After ethnic Madhesis later blocked border points with India and imposed a general strike in south Nepal to protest against the constitution, Koirala attempted to resolve the issue by negotiating with the protesters.
Koirala spent his life in politics fighting for democracy in Nepal and led protests in 2006 that ended a centuries-old monarchy system and turned Nepal into a republic.
His politics meant he was always in trouble with the country’s kings who had barred political parties since the 1960s, and was jailed for at least six years. He spent 15 years in exile in India because of his opposition to the party-less system imposed by the kings.
He never married and was living in his nephew’s house in Kathmandu.
His body will be kept at the party’s headquarters in Kathmandu for his supporters to pay their respects. Hundreds of his supporters had already gathered outside there on Tuesday.