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Nepalese President Bidya Devi Bhandari in 2017. Photo: LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP via Getty Images

Nepal's president on Saturday dissolved the country's parliament and scheduled new general elections for November, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Opposition leaders protested the move, saying that planning new elections should not be the government's focus while the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the New York Times reports.

  • "When the country should have united to battle the pandemic, the dissolution of the parliament has only added to the problems and sufferings of the people," five opposition leaders said in a statement, according to Reuters.

The big picture: "Nepal’s transition to democracy since 2008, when its monarchy was dissolved, has been fragile and turbulent," the Times writes. This is the second time in five months Nepal's parliament has been dissolved.

The state of play: President Bidya Devi Bhandari said the recommendation came from the cabinet, led by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli.

  • Opposition leaders, however, responded by saying the move was "unconstitutional and undemocratic," adding that Oli has no authority to make the suggestion.
  • Oli, who lost a vote of confidence earlier in the month, said he believes new elections could end the political turmoil in the country.

What to watch: "Prakash Sharan Mahat, a senior leader of the opposition Nepali Congress party said they will launch a political and legal fight against the move," according to Reuters.

By the numbers: Nepal has been reporting a surge in daily coronavirus cases, with more than 8,400 new cases reported on Friday. The country has recorded a total of 505,643 confirmed cases and 6,153 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Go deeper

Aug 29, 2021 - World

Israel offers COVID-19 vaccine booster to ages 12 and older

A paramedic administers the third shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Aug. 24 in Israel. Photo: Ahmad Gharabali/AFP via Getty images

Israel on Sunday expanded its coronavirus booster shot program to include anyone over the age of 12, AP reports.

Why it matters: Israel has seen a surge in COVID cases, due in large part to the Delta variant, and now has one of the world's highest rates of infection. The country was already offering booster shots to people over 30 years old.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Transplants rebound from COVID lull — CDC director says COVID-19 messaging should have been clearer — Concerns grow over CDC's isolation guidelines.
  2. Vaccines: Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — America's vaccination drive runs out of gas.
  3. Politics: Joint Chiefs chair Gen. Mark Milley tests positive for COVID-19 — Vivek Murthy calls SCOTUS vaccine mandate block "a setback for public health."
  4. States: America struggles to keep schools open — Youngkin ends mandates for masks in schools and COVID vaccinations for state workers.
  5. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — French parliament passes COVID vaccine passport legislation.
  6. Variant tracker

Fauci "sticking with" COVID-19 vaccine booster recommendations

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

NIAID's Anthony Fauci said Sunday that the Biden administration is "sticking with" its recommendation for a third dose of the coronavirus vaccine eight months after receiving the original shots.

Why it matters: Fauci's statements on ABC's "This Week," come as the U.S. sees an uptick in COVID cases, largely due to the highly infectious Delta variant, and after the Biden administration announced it would begin offering booster shots to stay ahead of declining vaccine effectiveness.