Egypt panel approves preamble to draft constitution

Egypt panel approves preamble to draft constitution
# 30 November 2013 20:22 (UTC +04:00)

The approval came on Saturday evening after the Egyptian panel tasked with drawing up the new constitution started voting on it amid escalating political tensions in the country.

Before the vote, the head of the Constitutional Committee, Amr Moussa, said the new constitution will enable a transition from unrest to stability.

The committee was tasked with amending the constitution after the 2012 constitution was suspended following former president, Mohamed Morsi’s ouster in July.

There has been widespread opposition to the new draft by Muslim Brotherhood supporters.

The pro-Brotherhood camp says the new constitution is expected to curb the influence of Islamic laws and ease a ban on Hosni Mubarak-era officials to run for office.

They also accuse the military-backed government of having anti-democratic tendencies, arguing that the proposed amendments are contrary to the goals of the 2011 revolution that ended decades of dictatorship.

The military-installed interim government says the draft of the amended constitution will be put to referendum in coming months.

According to a draft published in Egypt's state media on Thursday, the new constitution would grant more powers to the military officials and could ban Islamic parties completely.

Tensions in Egypt have been running high since the first democratically-elected president was ousted on July 3. Hundreds have lost their lives in the ensuing violence across the country