The Supreme Court [official website, in Nepali] of Nepal [BBC backgrounder; JURIST news archive] settled a major political dispute on Thursday when it ruled that the selection of a new president was not an immediate need, and should be postponed until the adoption of a new constitution. Though President Ram Baran Yadav [official website] was initially elected to serve only two years, he has been in office since 2008, soon after the Constituent Assembly of Nepal (CA) [official website] voted to abolish the country's monarchy and establish a republic [JURIST report]. Disputes among political parties regarding presidential authority and selection, as well as the failure to draft a new constitution, have led to Yadav's retention of power. Arguments over whether Yadav should stay in office has been a politically controversial issue.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment [JURIST report] with Nepal in May for its failure to meet the deadline to write a new constitution. The week before, the Supreme Court of Nepal ordered [JURIST report] the government to complete the final version of the new constitution by Sunday thereby rejecting the administration's request to extend the deadline by three months. The CA, responsible for drafting the constitution, was elected to a two-year term in 2008, but the term has already been extended four times despite its pledge [JURIST report] to finish it by the end of April 2010. The Republic of Nepal was established on December 28, 2007.