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Nepal president dissolves parliament and calls elections for April and May

A feud in the ruling Communist Party is pushing the Himalayan nation into a political crisis.

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A Nepalese protester burns an effigy of prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli in front of the parliament building in Kathmandu (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

A Nepalese protester burns an effigy of prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli in front of the parliament building in Kathmandu (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

A Nepalese protester burns an effigy of prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli in front of the parliament building in Kathmandu (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

Nepal’s president dissolved Parliament after the prime minister made the recommendation amid an escalating feud within his Communist Party that is likely to push the Himalayan nation into a political crisis.

Parliamentary elections will be held on April 30 and May 10, according to a statement from President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s office.

The country’s prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli decided to dissolve Parliament at a Cabinet meeting on Sunday and immediately presented his recommendation.

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Nepalese students shout slogans against prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli during a protest in Kathmandu (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

Nepalese students shout slogans against prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli during a protest in Kathmandu (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

AP/PA Images

Nepalese students shout slogans against prime minister Khadga Prasad Oli during a protest in Kathmandu (Niranjan Shrestha/AP)

Mr Oli became prime minister after his Nepal Communist Party won elections three years ago.

Mr Oli’s party and the party of former Maoist rebels had merged to form a strong communist party to win the election.

There has, however, been a power tussle with the leader of the former Maoists rebels, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who is also the co-chairman of the party.

Mr Oli has refused to succeed him as the prime minister or lead the party, causing problems within the party.

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President Bidya Devi Bhandari (Thein Zaw/AP)

President Bidya Devi Bhandari (Thein Zaw/AP)

AP/PA Images

President Bidya Devi Bhandari (Thein Zaw/AP)

The opposition has repeatedly accused Mr Oli’s government of corruption and his administration has faced criticism over its handling of coronavirus.

The number of virus cases in Nepal has reached 243,184, including 1,777 deaths.

Mr Oli also has been accused of moving closer to China and drifting away from Nepal’s traditional partner India since taking over power.

This has caused problems between Mr Oli and New Delhi.

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