KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal's top court has ruled that there is no immediate need to elect a new president, settling a major point of differences among the political parties.
Supreme Court spokesman Shree Kanta Poudel said the judge ruled late Thursday that a new president should be elected only after the new constitution has been promulgated — the main task facing the Constituent Assembly that was elected in November and just assumed duty this week.
Ram Baran Yadav was elected the first president in 2008 after the centuries-old monarchy was abolished and Nepal turned into a republic. It was initially thought Yadav would be in office for two years but he has remained president for more than five years because an assembly elected in 2008 failed to draw up a new constitution amid squabbles, including how a president should be chosen and how much power he or she should have.
A dispute among political parties over whether Yadav should remain president had been a major impediment to various agreements, including forming a coalition government among parties in the Constituent Assembly.
Nepal has been without a constitution for the past six years.