Nepal: President dissolves parliament

Nepal: President dissolves parliament

Nepal's president Bidhya Devi Bhandari on Sunday dissolved parliament at the request of the cabinet of the Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

Bhandari's office said in a statement the next vote will be held on April 30 and May 10, more than a year ahead of schedule as recommended by the cabinet following an emergency meeting.

Oli, 68, pushed for a fresh mandate after the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) accused him of sidelining his party in government decisions and appointments. He had led an alliance with former Maoist rebels to a landslide victory in 2017.

Oli aide Rajan Bhattarai said the prime minister had acted in response to the backlash from his party, which had also asked him to consider quitting as its president.

Politicians and social media users said the ruling party should have tried out other political combinations to run the country instead of calling an untimely election when its tourism-dependent economy has been battered by the pandemic.

Sandwiched between China and India, politics in Nepal is also influenced by the priorities of its giant neighbours. India has been pushing back against Beijing's growing clout in a country that New Delhi considers its own backyard.