Egypt drafts new Constitution, more powers for military

Egypt took its first step towards political transition on late Monday by finishing a draft charter that amends the existing Constitution and gives majority of powers to the military making it the most powerful institution in the country.

Zee Media Bureau

Cairo: Egypt took its first step towards political transition on late Monday by finishing a draft charter that amends the existing Constitution and gives majority of powers to the military making it the most powerful institution in the country.

A 50-member panel had completed the 67-page draft which the military has termed as a step towards democracy. Now, a nationwide referendum will take place if any changes in the document are required to be made.

The draft charter has also removed several parts that seemed to be paving way for the creation of the Islamic state. It also emphasises on the personal and political rights of the people.

The charter states that there is equality between men and women. It further states that no political party can be founded on the basis of religion, sect or region.

The power that the draft charter gives to military has raised concerns. In the charter, the military has also been given the right to appoint the Defence minister for the next two presidential terms. However, no criteria has been mentioned which states how the post will be filled.

The draft had excluded provisions included by ousted president Morsi that would lead to stricter Islamic law.

Morsi has rejected the military-backed government and is likely to protest against the draft charter as well.

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