The presidency says neither the caretaker prime minister nor the opposition leader were able to prove a majority to form a new government.
Nepal has plunged into new political unrest when President Bidya Devi Bhandari dissolved parliament and set general elections in November amid a worsening COVID-19 outbreak.
Saturday’s surprise announcement comes after a presidential statement said neither interim prime minister KP Sharma Oli nor opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba could demonstrate a majority to form a new government before the deadline set for Friday by Bhandari.
“The president has dissolved the House of Representatives and ordered the first phase of the general election on November 12 and the second phase on November 19,” a presidential statement issued after midnight said.
He said the decision was made on the recommendation of the cabinet headed by caretaker Prime Minister Oli, the dissolution of parliament in December 2020 sparked weeks of protests and the Supreme Court reversed it as unconstitutional in February.
There was no immediate comment from political parties on the latest move.
Nepal is battling a second deadly wave of the pandemic and reports an average of 8,207 new infections each day.