Senior leaders of Nepali Congress party lay the party flag on the body of late former Prime Minister Sushil Koirala in Kathmandu, Nepal, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar
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Former Nepal prime minister Sushil Koirala, a veteran politician once jailed for helping to hijack a plane, died in Kathmandu Tuesday aged 77 after suffering from pneumonia, his doctor said.Koirala, premier for 20 months until last October, played a pivotal role in drafting a controversial new constitution aimed at unifying the impoverished country following the end in 2006 of a decade-long Maoist insurgency.Koirala headed the country's biggest political party, the Nepali Congress, and was tasked as premier with writing the long-delayed new constitution to complete a stalled peace process.Koirala was born in 1939 in eastern Nepal, but his family fled to India in 1960 after the then-king suspended democracy and jailed dozens, including some of his relatives -- one of whom was prime minister.
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