Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets with Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for apostasy

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    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)