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.
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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 19th Apr 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com