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Former Nepal PM Shrestha dies at age 71

Thursday - 8/15/2013, 7:38am  ET

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 18, 2006 file photo, former Nepalese Prime Minister Marich Man Singh Shrestha speaks to the media after a meeting with King Gyanendra in Katmandu, Nepal. The last Nepalese prime minister to serve before protests ushered in the Himalayan country's first democratic elections in the early 1990s died Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, family members said. Shrestha died of lung cancer Thursday at age 71, his son Anil said. (AP Photo/Binod Joshi/File)

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- The last Nepalese prime minister to serve before protests ushered in the Himalayan country's first democratic elections in the early 1990s has died, family members said.

Marich Man Singh Shrestha died Thursday of lung cancer at age 71, his son Anil said.

He had been undergoing treatment in New Delhi but was flown home earlier this week because of his deteriorating health.

Shrestha served as prime minister under a partyless political system from 1986 to 1990, when pro-democracy protests forced the king to lift a ban on political parties. The first democratic elections were held a year later.

His body was kept at his residence for family and supporters to pay their last respects. He was to be cremated later Thursday.


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