Nepal will likely head to the polls next year after parliament was abruptly dissolved on Sunday, a move prompted by infighting between the Himalayan nation’s premier and members of his party, including former Maoist rebels.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s government has weathered accusations of corruption and criticism for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
But his decision to request a new poll comes after months of clashes with Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a former insurgent leader who helped Oli come to power when their political parties merged in 2018.
The pair had clashed over their powersharing agreement and a lack of consultation.
Fresh elections will be held in April and May next year, the office of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari said in a statement after she approved the dissolution.
The decision plunges Nepal into months of fresh political uncertainty after years of instability and short-lived governments that followed a decade-long civil war.
Analysts said the dissolution of parliament was likely to be challenged in court.
“The prime minister cannot recommend dissolution of parliament until there are chances of forming an alternative government,” legal expert Bipin Adhikari told AFP, calling the move unconstitutional.