KATHMANDU (AFP) - A newly elected assembly that will rewrite Nepal's constitution was sworn in on Tuesday, one day before the Maoist-dominated body is expected to abolish the monarchy. "This is an epoch-making day," Maoist leader Prachanda, who is slated to head the country's next government, told reporters before entering the conference centre to be sworn in. The Maoists, who waged a decade-long armed struggle before signing a peace deal in 2006, won more than a third of the constituent assembly's 601 seats in elections in April. "For the past 50 years people have been fighting for this," said Prachanda. "From tomorrow, the institution of the monarchy will formally come to an end." Political leaders said the assembly will dissolve the impoverished country's 240-year-old monarchy and sack the unpopular King Gyanendra when it holds its first session on Wednesday. Minutes after the swearing-in ceremony, the king was seen leaving the palace in a small convoy of three vehicles. The king was driving himself and Queen Komal in a black Mercedes sedan, an AFP reporter at the palace gates said. The palace press secretariat said it did not know where the king was going, or if he was leaving for good - in line with Maoist demands he vacate the palace. "The only people who would know where he is going are his security detail," a palace official said on condition of anonymity. Gyanendra was crowned following the 2001 killing of his popular brother Birendra and most of the royal family by a drink-and-drug-fuelled crown prince who later killed himself. Although seen by loyalists as the reincarnation of a Hindu god, he fell victim to conspiracy theories thinking him to the killings. He also sparked widespread protests when he assumed dictatorial powers to fight the Maoist revolt, an ill-judged move that led to him being pushed aside and room for a peace deal. The king has since kept a low profile and has been stripped of most of his powers. Security has been tight in Kathmandu, with police ringing the constitutional assembly's complex - targeted by suspected Hindu nationalists and pro-royal bombers on Monday. Another explosion Monday evening targeted the home of a pro-republic rights activist, but there were no injuries from either attack. Police have also banned protests around the palace, a possible magnet for Maoist activists eager to get their hands on the king or his unpopular heir, Crown Prince Paras. The Maoists have brought thousands of their feared youth members, who are accused of extorting money and beating up rivals, to the city for Wednesday's assembly meeting. After abolishing the monarchy and declaring landlocked Nepal a federal democratic republic, the lawmakers are due to draft a new constitution - the next step in the peace process after the civil war, which killed 13,000 people.