|Nepalese remember Bhattarai for his anti-corruption stand which boosted his popularity [EPA]|
Krishna Prasad Bhattarai’s, the Nepalese former prime minister who led a popular movement to restore multiparty democracy in 1990, has died.
Dr Bharat Rawat, Bhattarai’s physician, told journalists on Saturday that the 87-year-old had died in the capital, Katmandu, at midnight on Friday due to multiple organ failure.
He had suffered mainly from kidney problems and had been admitted to a hospital in Katmandu last month with multiple health complaints.
Bhattarai, who spent nearly 14 years in prison for opposing the autocratic system imposed in the country in 1960, served as prime minister of the Himalayan nation twice, first in 1990 and again in 1999.
After the restoration of multiparty democracy in 1990 following his campaigning, Bhattarai was appointed prime minister of an interim government comprising representatives from his Nepali Congress party and several communist parties.
During his nine months in power, he conducted Nepal’s first free elections in 30 years and enforced a new constitution that guaranteed democratic rights in the country.
In 1999, he again became prime minister after the Nepali Congress party won elections. But feuds in the faction-ridden party forced him to step down after just nine months in power.
As premier, Bhattarai made official visits to India, Japan and the United Kingdom, and led the Nepalese delegation to the meeting of the South Asian Regional Co-operation in 1991 in the Maldives.
His strict anti-corruption drive gave him the image of a clean politician while his anti-nepotism stand also helped him gain popularity among the public.