EGYPT: Islamist-Dominated Panel To Draft Constitution

Islamist-dominated panel
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Islamist-dominated panel

Egypt’s parliament has elected an Islamist-dominated panel to draft a new constitution, and liberal activists are scrambling to block the move, Agence France Presse reported Sunday, March 25.

Thirty-nine of the 50 lawmakers chosen for the 100-member constituent assembly are Islamists, according to press reports, with Islamists also represented among the remaining 50 members drawn from outside parliament.  Only six women were appointed, along with a handful of Coptic Christians who make up about 10 percent of Egypt’s population.

Liberal lawmakers had walked out on the vote in the joint parliament and senate session on Saturday, accusing the Islamist majority of trying to dominate the crucial panel.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Coptic tycoon Naguib Sawiris, who founded the largest liberal party in parliament.  “A constitution being written by one force and one force alone.”

The assembly is due to hold its first meeting on Wednesday, as secular-leaning groups pressed a court to annul the vote that elected the panel.  The new constitution will replace the one annulled by the ruling military which took power after an uprising ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year.

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