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Egypt panel approves Constitution draft, referendum in January

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 14:12

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Cairo: In what appears to be one of the first steps in the transition promised by Egypt military after the July ouster of Mohammed Morsi, a 50-member panel assigned with the task of amending a draft Constitution adopted during the regime of the former President has accomplished its work of revising the charter that involved two days of clause-by clause voting.

Declaring the approval of draft on national television, Amr Mussa, the chief of the draft amending panel added that it will be handed over to interim President Adly Mansour on Tuesday.

"Long live Egypt," he added.

The draft, which retains a controversial article allowing the military to try civilians, will be put for a referendum in January.

The draft panel members agreed that the contentious article would be revised, allowing the military trial only in case of direct attack on military personnel or assets.

The new charter calls for the process of elections (parliamentary or presidential) to start within 30 days after the referendum, but it must not exceed 90 days.

Other elections must take place within six months after the Constitution is adopted, the charted adds.

The new charter also makes it necessary for the presidents to declare their financial assets annually. There will also be a provision by which an elected president would be voted out by the lawmakers if they have two-third majority.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Egypt police fired tear gases at Morsi supporters who had thronged Tahrir Square.

Demonstrators, who have been rallying almost daily, demand that Morsi be reinstated.

Sunday’s protesters were mostly Cairo University students who came all the way from the University to Tahrir Square to demonstrate against the government.

They were angry over the death of an engineering student, who succumbed to the injuries after the police crackdown.

First Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 - 13:23
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