A general strike called by an alliance of opposition political parties to oppose government plans for elections in November has shut down Nepal's capital, closing schools and markets.

Vehicles stayed off the streets and shops were shut down in Kathmandu because of the one-day strike on Thursday.

The alliance of 33 opposition parties is demanding that Constituent Assembly elections set for November be cancelled and polls instead be conducted by a new government that has representation from all the political parties.

An interim government led by the Supreme Court chief justice was appointed earlier this year to carry out the elections.

Nepal's second national elections since the abolition of the 239-year-old monarchy are scheduled for November 19. The first was held on 2008 but failed to draft a constitution, necessitating new elections.

Nepal is recovering from a decade-long civil war that ended in 2006 and struggles with a fragile economy, crippling power cuts, ethnic divisions and a deteriorating security situation.

Source: Agencies