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Nepal's Constituent Assembly begins crucial voting on new constitution draft despite protests

  • Nepalese lawmakers raise their hands as they begin voting on a draft of the new constitution at the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. The Himalayan nation's constitution has been delayed by years of disagreements between the main political parties, and the voting on the draft is seen as major progress. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Nepalese lawmakers raise their hands as they begin voting on a draft of the new constitution at the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. The Himalayan nation's constitution has been delayed by years of disagreements between the main political parties, and the voting on the draft is seen as major progress. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

  • Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, center, smiles as Nepalese lawmakers begin voting on a draft of the new constitution at the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. The Himalayan nation's constitution has been delayed by years of disagreements between the main political parties, and the voting on the draft is seen as major progress. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, center, smiles as Nepalese lawmakers begin voting on a draft of the new constitution at the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. The Himalayan nation's constitution has been delayed by years of disagreements between the main political parties, and the voting on the draft is seen as major progress. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

  • Activists of the Madhesi group participate in a protest near the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Nepal's Constituent Assembly has begun voting on a draft of the Himalayan nation's much-delayed new constitution despite protests from ethnic minority groups. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

    Activists of the Madhesi group participate in a protest near the Constituent Assembly Hall in Kathmandu, Nepal, Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015. Nepal's Constituent Assembly has begun voting on a draft of the Himalayan nation's much-delayed new constitution despite protests from ethnic minority groups. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)  (The Associated Press)

Nepal's Constituent Assembly has begun voting on a draft of the Himalayan nation's much-delayed new constitution despite protests from ethnic minority groups.

Speaker Subash Nemwang commenced the voting Sunday on the draft and amendment proposals sought by assembly members.

The voting is expected to take at least a day or two.

Nepal's three major political parties are determined to get the constitution passed this week and had invited protesting parties and groups for weekend talks. One group met with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, but no agreement was reached.

Nepal has had an interim constitution since pro-democracy protests forced then-King Gyanendra to give up authoritarian rule and turn the country into a republic. A Constituent Assembly elected in 2008 failed to draft a new charter. Another assembly was elected in 2013.