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Middle East

Egypt forms panel to review constitution

Fifty-member committee to start discussions next week on proposed amendments to Islamist-drafted constitution.

Last Modified: 01 Sep 2013 20:08
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Egypt will hold elections only once the constitution is approved in a referendum. [Getty Images]

Egypt's government has unveiled a constituent assembly to review proposed amendments to the Islamist-drafted constitution, moving ahead with a military-backed transition plan as protests over the coup that ousted the country's president wane.

The constituent assembly will have two Islamists among its 50 members, one belonging to the hardline Salafi Nour party and the other a former Muslim Brotherhood leader now critical of the group he left.

The committee is to begin discussions on September 8 on the changes proposed by a 10-member panel of judges, also appointed by interim President Adly Mansour. 

The constitutional review is part of a road map unveiled by the administration that took power after the army deposed President Mohamed Morsi on July 3.

Egypt will hold parliamentary and presidential elections only once the constitution is approved in a referendum.

It is then expected to put the amended charter to a public vote within 60 days, presidential spokesman Ihab Badawi told the Associated Press news agency. 

Protests over the constitution and the direction of the country turned deadly after Morsi issued temporary decrees in late November that put himself and the drafting committee above judicial oversight.

The constitution was then finalised in a rushed overnight session and passed with a slight majority in a hastily called referendum in December 2012.

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