The institutional structure of Nepal has been weakened through its recent experience of political instability. The king seized power in 2005, which precipitated the mass demonstrations of the People’s Movement (Jana Andolan), which sought a return to, and the further development of, democracy in Nepal. This occurred in parallel with the culmination of the Maoist insurgency, which ended in 2006 under the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Rebel leaders demanded a move to republicanism, and the convening of an assembly to draft a new constitution for the Himalayan state. These events heralded the beginnings of the constitutional reform process. Central to the facilitation of the reform is the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007, which replaces the 1990 Constitution of the Kingdom of Nepal. The first President was elected in July 2008.
The legal system is based on English Common Law. It adopted secularism as a key tenet of the constitution (and thereby declassified the country as a “Hindu Kingdom”). However, it retains some Hindu legal concepts. Despite the transition to a republic, the basis of the parliamentary system remains. There is now no Second House, the members of which were merged into the House of Representatives. As an interim document, the 2007 Constitution provides for the establishment of the unicameral Constituent Assembly (CA) and the preparation of the new constitution. There are 601 seats in the CA, 240 of which are elected by direct popular vote, 335 by proportional representation and 26 appointed by the Cabinet (Council of Ministers). The term of the CA is three years after the first CA meeting is held unless dissolved earlier. The CA dissolved in May 2012 after it failed to promulgate a constitution, and the second CA election was held in November 2014. President Ram Baran Yadav was elected in 2008 by the CA as the head of state. The presidency will last until the new constitution is promulgated. A Prime Minister is officially appointed by the President as the head of the Government. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was appointed in February 2014.