Nepal's prime minister deflected criticism when the nation's interim parliament collapsed in May by promising to hold new elections in November.

But less than three months from the announced poll date, even Baburam Bhattarai's own advisers acknowledge there won't be elections this year.

The delay is certain to increase the political turmoil in a country struggling to recover from a bloody civil war and trying to transform itself into a republic after the overthrow of its monarchy.

For now, the poor Himalayan country is left with no legislature, a prime minister who opponents say has illegally taken power and an uncooperative president who, while largely ceremonial, is crucial to holding new polls. Opposition parties say they won't participate in new elections unless Bhattarai resigns in favor of a national coalition.