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Veteran Koirala to Become Nepal's Prime Minister for 5th Time


Nepal's veteran opposition leader, Girija Prasad Koirala, is set to become prime minister Friday for the fifth time in his decades-long political career.

Mr. Koirala was nominated for the post this week by the country's seven-party opposition alliance, after King Gyanendra agreed to popular demands to give up absolute rule and reinstate parliament.

Mr. Koirala is the leader of Nepal's largest political party, the Nepali Congress. The 84-year-old has been active in politics since the 1960s, when he was jailed for seven years for opposing absolute monarchy.

He became prime minister for the first time in 1991 as head of the country's first democratically-elected government in decades. His election followed another popular uprising that forced King Birendra to relinquish power.

Nepal was plagued by political instability after 1991 that resulted in a series of short-lived governments. Koirala served three more stints as prime minister before his last term ended in 2001.

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