Egypt starts amending constitution

Egypt starts amending constitution
Mon Jul 22, 2013 08:26:39

Egypt’s interim government has started amending country’s constitution amid continuing protests against the removal of the first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi by the army.

Interim President Adly Mansour on Saturday appointed a panel of four university professors and six judges to propose amendments to the constitution.

According to the official MENA news agency on Sunday, the newly-appointed constitutional committee held talks on drafting a new constitution at the Shura Council, or upper house of parliament.

The members of the committee have 30 days to finish their task. Then a 50-strong body, which represents different groups in Egyptian society, will review the amendments. They will submit final changes to the interim president, before he puts it to a referendum.

Head of the Egyptian Armed Forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said on July 3 that Morsi was no longer in office. Sisi also suspended the constitution and dissolved the parliament.

Morsi and his supporters wanted an Islamic constitution for the Muslim-majority nation but Morsi’s opponents argued for a secular charter.

In December 2012, about 64 percent of voters approved the constitution in a two-round referendum.

On Sunday, the Muslim Brotherhood released a statement giving their plans for ending the political crisis in the North African country. The group said the solution lies in Morsi's reinstatement.
The Brotherhood also called for the military to “respect the will of the people,” by returning “constitutional legitimacy, with the constitution, the president and the parliament.”

The statement added that when Morsi returns to office, he would carry out “the reform initiative he committed to according to the constitution decided on by the people.”

On the same day, hundreds of female supporters of Morsi marched to the Egyptian Defense Ministry in the capital Cairo to protest the killing of three women at a rally in the Nile Delta city of Mansura on Friday.

The protesters were confronted by soldiers who blocked their way to the ministry.

On July 5, Muslim Brotherhood supreme leader Mohammed Badie said the coup against Morsi was illegal and millions would remain on the street until he is reinstated.


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