Nepal profile

President: Ram Baran Yadav

Nepali President Baran Yadav Ram Baran Yadav, Nepal's first president

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 interim premier Khil Raj Regmi Khil Raj Regmi was appointed to oversee elections

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.

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