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Former Nepali PM Shrestha dies at age 71

Nepal's former Prime Minister Shrestha dies at age 71; last PM before democratic elections

Former Nepali PM Shrestha dies at age 71

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.

Doctors at Norvic Hospital in Katmandu said Marich Man Singh Shrestha died of lung cancer Thursday at age 71. 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 party-less 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.

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