Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Europe's Plan for Putin - Will Russian Leader Bend After New Sanctions?

Read more

FOCUS

Pakistan's Ahmadis living in fear of extremist attacks

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users show solidarity with Iraqi Christians

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Gilles Kepel, Islamic and Arab world specialist

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'What would you do?'

Read more

  • US and EU slap Russia with fresh sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Scores killed as Israel ramps up Gaza bombardment

    Read more

  • Dozens killed in stampede at Guinea rap concert

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

  • Graphic: Ebola spreads across West Africa

    Read more

  • Islamists seize key Benghazi army base as fuel fire rages on

    Read more

  • In pictures: ن - a sign of support for Iraq’s persecuted Christians

    Read more

  • Calls mount to ban France’s ‘violent’ Jewish Defence League

    Read more

  • Venezuela: Hugo Chavez’s ‘little bird’ strikes again

    Read more

  • France extradites suspected Jewish Museum shooter to Belgium

    Read more

  • Video: How tourism is helping Rwanda’s gorillas, ex-poachers

    Read more

  • Rare Sri Lankan leopard cubs born in French zoo

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

Africa

Court suspends assembly drafting Egypt's constitution

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-04-10

An Egyptian court on Tuesday suspended the assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution pending a ruling on its legality, following criticism that the panel is dominated by Islamists and under-represents Egypt's liberals, women and Christians.

REUTERS - An Egyptian court on Tuesday halted a move to create a new constitutional assembly pending a ruling on its legality, challenging the legitimacy of a body spurned by liberal and Christian groups because of its domination by Islamists.

The injunction slapped on the decision by parliament could delay the introduction of a constitution needed urgently to clarify the powers of Egypt's new head of state, due to take over from ruling generals by mid-year.

The government and parliament had argued that the court had no authority over the move to form the constituent assembly.

But Judge Ali Fekri said the court "rejected the argument that the court is not specialised and decided to halt the decision" that formed the assembly. He passed on the case's documents to a judicial panel for a review.

This case is one of several lawsuits that had demanded the dissolution of the assembly because it did not represent the diversity of Egyptian society.

Lawyer Khaled Abo Bakr said the court's capacity to review the case rested on whether parliament's step to form the assembly was legally seen as an administrative decision.

"This means the assembly's activities are frozen; it is suspended until further notice, until the judicial panel convenes," he said.

Selected by parliament, the 100-member constitutional assembly is composed mostly of Islamists, who won the majority of seats in Egypt's first free parliamentary vote in decades.

Only a handful of seats were reserved for youth groups, women and for Christian Copts, who said they plan to boycott the assembly, following the example of liberal groups and the country's highest Sunni Islamic institution al-Azhar, who all withdrew from the assembly.

The case was brought by lawyers and activists complaining that the body appointed by the Islamist-led parliament to write the constitution laying out the framework of laws and state institutions fails to reflect the diversity of Egyptian society.

The current constitution was suspended by the army rulers in February last year, shortly after they took power from Egypt's long-serving autocratic president, Hosni Mubarak, who was forced out by a popular uprising.

The new document is expected to include more freedoms and define rules for the authorities including setting out the terms of presidential power.

It could also decide which institution of state will effectively rule the Arab world's most populous country.
 

Date created : 2012-04-10

  • EGYPTIAN ELECTIONS

    Ex-spy chief slams Muslim Brotherhood's 'monopoly'

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Muslim Brotherhood names presidential candidate

    Read more

  • EGYPT

    Islamist elected to lead Egypt's constitutional assembly

    Read more

COMMENT(S)