Nepal’s Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the same question to head of state that it had asked the head of the government a week ago: why cannot the other (President) call the first meeting of the second Constituent Assembly (CA)?

Acting on a PIL, the apex court asked the Office of the President to furnish a reply by January 13 as to why the head of the Interim Council of Ministers cannot call the first meeting of the newly elected Constituent Assembly (CA). A week ago, it had asked the Khil Raj Regmi interim council as to why President Ram Baran Yadav cannot convene the meeting.

This dispute is likely to further delay the convening of the first meeting of the new CA-cum-Parliament. Both President Yadav and the head of the interim council of minister, Mr. Regmi are adamant on calling he first meeting. While Mr. Yadav cites parliamentary traditions, Mr. Regmi has pointed to the Interim Constitution.

One article of the Interim Constitution provisions calling the Parliament, part of the CA, by President on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. However, the first CA ( 2008) was called by the Prime Minister. In 2008, the then Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala had called the first meeting in his capacity as head of the state.

With the Election Commission submitting the names of the elected CA members to President Yadav — both under the direct and proportional representation (PR) systems — the road to call the first meeting is clear but for the dispute between the two top executives.

Even the political parties are divided over who should call the meeting. They have decided to wait for the court’s decision on the issue.