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New Nepal assembly convenes to write constitution

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KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) — After a two-month delay, Nepal's newly elected Constituent Assembly has convened to begin its main task: drafting a new constitution — which the Himalayan nation has lacked for the past five years.

Wednesday's gathering was largely ceremonial. The assembly is expected to start discussing proposals for the constitution next week.

The 601-seat assembly will also serve as a nation's parliament. The Nepali Congress party is expected to lead a coalition government as it won the most seats.

Assembly members will also elect a prime minister at a date that has not been set yet.

The assembly was elected on Nov. 19, but couldn't convene because the Communist Party of Nepal Maoist, made up of former rebels, refused to participate, saying there were election irregularities. Eventually, they agreed to join.

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