Egypt liberals boycott constitution panel vote
Published: 24th Mar 2012 19:07:16
Egypt's liberal MPs have walked out in protest from a parliamentary vote to select members of a panel which will draft a new constitution.
The liberal bloc accused Islamist parties - the majority in parliament - of trying to monopolise the process.
MPs will hold 50 of the 100 seats on the panel to draw up a new constitution following the revolution which ousted President Hosni Mubarak last year.
Once the panel has produced its draft, the text will be put to a referendum.
The constitution will determine the balance of power between the president - previously the supreme authority - and parliament.
The BBC's Jon Leyne, in Cairo, says the panel's work is a key issue for Egypt's future: the constitution is likely to set the course for the country for what could be decades to come.
One of its first topics will be to decide how heavily the constitution should be guided by Islamic (sharia) law, our correspondent says.
The liberals fear Islamist parties will ignore minority concerns.
Naguib Sawiris, leader of the Free Egyptians party, denounced the process as "ridiculous".
The Muslim Brotherhood, whose political wing holds the largest number of seats in parliament, posted a list of its nominees for the 50 MPs' seats on its website.
It included 36 Islamists and 14 MPs from other parties.
The Brotherhood has sought to allay fears that it will seek to impose a strict interpretation of sharia law on the country.
At 16:02:28 in EnglandA man who shook his baby son causing severe brain injuries that were said to have killed him 12 years later has been cleared of manslaughter.
At 16:01:44 in WalesCalls have been made for Powys council's deputy leader to resign after she used a racial slur during a council meeting.
At 16:01:11 in EnglandAn 88-year-old man has been hit with a bottle and mugged while tending some of his family's graves in a churchyard.
At 15:59:59 in WalesA driver who killed his sister and her fiance in a car crash, leaving his nine-week-old nephew an orphan, has been jailed for seven years.
At 15:53:11 in EnglandA fire that ripped through Eastbourne Pier is now feared to have been started deliberately.
At 15:52:17 in SportWalsall manager Dean Smith says he is not concerned by his side's lack of goals during pre-season.
At 15:51:03 in SportNew Zealand began their defence of the Women's Rugby World Cup in style with a 79-5 win against Kazakhstan in the opening game in France.
At 15:50:16 in SportThe looming Challenge Cup semi-final against Widnes has prompted Castleford Tigers head coach Daryl Powell to rest two of his big names.
At 15:41:49 in EnglandProposals for a new sports stadium in Cornwall have been announced.
At 15:40:38 in EnglandA Shropshire hospital trust is facing a £15m deficit unless it takes action, its board has warned.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Egypt liberals boycott constitution panel vote [Online] (Updated 24th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1418502/Egypt-liberals-boycott-constitution-panel-vote [Accessed 1st Aug 2014]
News In Other Categories
David Cameron and George Osborne have been accused of "meddling" in the search for a new head of the BBC Trust.
A two-year-old boy has died after he was hit by a van in County Tipperary.
Ebola outbreak in West Africa spreading faster than efforts to control it - World Health Organization chief
A fire that ripped through Eastbourne Pier is now feared to have been started deliberately.
Walsall manager Dean Smith says he is not concerned by his side's lack of goals during pre-season.
A man who raped and assaulted two women has been jailed for eight years.