President: Ram Baran Yadav
Mr Yadav became the first president of Nepal in July 2008, nearly two months after the country's constituent assembly voted to abolish the 239-year-old monarchy.
He is an ethnic Madheshi from Nepal's southern lowlands and was backed by the centrist Nepali Congress - the second largest party in parliament - as well as two smaller parties.
Mr Yadav is a doctor and twice served as health minister.
He has also held senior positions in the Nepali Congress. The presidency is a largely ceremonial position.
Interim prime minister: Khil Raj Regmi
Nepal's chief justice Khil Raj Regmi took over as the head of an interim unity government in March 2013 in a move aimed at ending a political deadlock.
His selection was seen as a compromise worked out by the country's feuding political parties who were unable to agree on a political candidate for the job.
The opposition had demanded that Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, a former Maoist rebel leader, quit in favour of a caretaker government to oversee delayed elections.
The ballot will choose an assembly that will complete the writing of a new constitution, Nepal's first after the abolition of the monarchy in 2008.
The country has been without a parliament since last May 2012 when the term of a special assembly expired without completing a draft of the new constitution.