Egypt panel approves draft constitution: State TV

Egypt panel approves draft constitution: State TV
Mon Dec 2, 2013 18:17:25

An Egyptian commission, charged with rewriting the constitution, Sunday approved the draft charter, the first major step in the country's military-backed transitional road map, reported state television.

The approval came after the panel had resolved last-minute disagreements on four articles that had failed to elicit the 75-percent threshold for approval in voting, added the broadcaster.

The contentious articles are related to the electoral system, representation levels of workers, peasants, youth, Christians and people with disabilities in the new parliament, and dates of holding parliamentary and presidential elections.

The 50-member assembly reached consensus on the four articles, according to the report.

The panel's head Amr Moussa is to present Tuesday the document to interim President Adly Mansour to call for a public referendum on it, said state media.

"Long live Egypt," Moussa, a former presidential candidate, chanted in a televised appearance as he announced the end of two-day voting on the charter.

On the second day of voting, the committee approved a controversial article allowing military courts to try civilians accused of "direct crimes" against the army, and another providing that the military would effectively have a veto on the appointment of the defense minister for a transitional period of eight years.

The proposed constitution - if passed in the public referendum - will replace the one suspended by the military after it deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi in July.

The transitional plan also calls for parliamentary and presidential elections set for next year.


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