News / Africa

Egyptian Panel Approves Draft Constitution

Members of the constitutional assembly attend a session to vote on a final draft of a new Egyptian constitution in Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2012.
Members of the constitutional assembly attend a session to vote on a final draft of a new Egyptian constitution in Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2012.
VOA News
An Islamist-dominated panel has approved Egypt's new draft constitution that must now be voted on in a nationwide referendum.  

The panel, boycotted by several Christian and liberal members, has retained the principles of Islamic law as the main source of legislation. The group hastily rushed through the approval of the 234 articles in a meeting that lasted from Thursday afternoon until until early Friday.

The assembly moved up the vote in order to pass the draft before Sunday, when Egypt's highest judicial power is expected to rule on whether to dissolve the panel.

Mohamed Morsi's November 22 Declaration

  • Reopens investigations into killings of protesters
  • Makes decrees issued by Morsi since he took office final and not open to appeal
  • Allows Morsi to appoint prosecutor-general
  • Gives Constituent Assembly two extra months to draft a constitution
  • Says no judicial body can dissolve the upper house of parliament or the Constituent Assembly
Over the past few days, about 30 liberal and Christian members pulled out of the panel to protest what they called the hijacking of the process by Islamists loyal to President Mohamed Morsi.

The Egyptian leader caused a political uproar last week when he granted himself sweeping new powers that bar the judiciary from challenging his decisions. Mr. Morsi told state television Thursday the decree will end immediately after people vote on the constitution.

Egyptians angered by the president's power grab have protested for more than a week. Two people have been killed and hundreds injured in the nationwide demonstrations.



  • Protesters chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2012.
  • Protesters in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2012.
  • Merchants sell bread to protesters, some of whom have camped out in tents since last week, as opposition groups plan to gather for a rally in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 30, 2012.
  • Youths climb a wall that was built by police to prevent clashes between protesters and police at Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2012.
  • Youths walk next to a pirate flag on display by a street vendor in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 29, 2012.
  • Riot police and protesters throw stones at one another during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • Protesters run during clashes with police near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • A protester carries stones to throw at the police during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • A protester reads the Wafd, a local newspaper next to tents occupied by protesters in Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, November 28, 2012.
  • A shot of Tahrir Square in Cairo as night falls, November 27, 2012. (J. Weeks/VOA)
  • Egyptian security forces arrest a protester during clashes near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester blows a stadium horn as he gestures at a cordon of security forces near Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, November 27, 2012.
  • A protester throws stones at riot police during clashes at Tahrir Square in Cairo November 26, 2012.
  • Egyptians attend the funeral of youth activist Gaber Salah, also known as Gika, at the Omar Makram mosque in Cairo, November 26, 2012.
  • An Egyptian protester runs during clashes with security forces near Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, November 25, 2012.

Egyptians continued protests in Tahrir Square against Mr. Morsi for a seventh straight day Thursday, accusing him of assuming dictatorial powers. Clashes between stone-throwing protesters and police launching tear gas canisters continued.

Opposition leaders said they planned to hold more marches Friday, and the Muslim Brotherhood has called a rival nationwide demonstration in support of the edict Saturday.

Meanwhile, the constitutional court vowed to resist what it characterized as an attempt by Mr. Morsi to undermine the court system. Egypt's highest courts went on strike Wednesday in protest of the president's decrees, vowing to stop their work until the constitutional court rules on Mr. Morsi's order granting himself immunity from judicial review.

Mr. Morsi is expected to put the draft constitution to a public referendum as early as mid-December.


Watch related video of anti-Morsi protesters in Tahrir Square
Egyptians continue anti-Morsi protests Wednesday in Tahrir Squarei
|| 0:00:00
X
November 29, 2012 5:08 PM
Egyptians continue anti-Morsi protests Wednesday in Tahrir Square for seventh consecutive day.

You May Like

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: TFCFM from: Philadelphia, PA
November 30, 2012 2:22 PM
Sitting within sight of Independence Hall, where the U.S. Constitution was approved 230+ years ago, I find that the contrast between that approval process and Egypt's couldn't be much more stark.

The race by non-boycotting members of Egypt's Constitutional Assembly to try to beat a court ruling on the Assembly's continuing legitimacy seems farcical. What's the hurry if the Assembly's approval process is legitimate?

I suppose the real test is yet to come. President Morsi's declaration of incontestable authority may be put to the test if Egypt's court system faults the Assembly's efforts to spit out a draft constitution prior to the court's ruling. Should that happen, we'll see if President Morsi stands with the People of Egypt or with the pro-islamist assemblymen who rushed to enshrine Islam in the political constitution of Egypt.


by: david lulasa from: tambua,hamisi,vihiga,keny
November 30, 2012 5:11 AM
mursi needs absolute supreme authority to save christian copts in egypt and other non muslim groups..judges havent been able to save these kind s of people.

lulasa

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
November 30, 2012 7:10 PM
how he saves them ? he adoted a law that allow each fanatic to be prosecutor and executor.


by: Dr. Malek Towghi from: USA
November 30, 2012 1:21 AM
As a former enthusiastic supporter of the "Arab Spring", particularly of the Egyptian Revolution, I am disappointed to see the "Spring" transformed into a dark Winter and the Revolution hijacked by the Islamo-fascists. The Egyptian people deserved something better.


by: Antonio from: PNW
November 29, 2012 7:56 PM
Hmm, where's the Womens in the room? All those seats should be FULL at this point in Egypts history.


by: Rusty from: Australia
November 29, 2012 7:30 PM
When will the Arab world understand that Religion and Politics simply do not mix.
Mixing the two ingredients put any country years behind civilization and the modern way of life.
This has always been and still the intention of the Arab leaders to kill the democracy in order to cement their power

In Response

by: ali baba from: new york
November 30, 2012 7:18 PM
i agree with you.politices and religion can not co exist. moresy know that and he choose religion aganist the will of the people. he knows how these fanatic act.in the past ,they kidnapped children.they rape gils. impose ransom for christain .now he put the shria as the law of the land . these fanatic will use that law as a tool to get away with murder. the tragdey is not folded


by: Isis from: Australia
November 29, 2012 7:29 PM
Another dictator and this one has a beard. When will Egypt learn that freedom and democracy is not in the hands of a figurehead but in the hands of the people. It saddens me to see how this controversy continues to destroy their major industry which is tourism.


by: Democrat from: London
November 29, 2012 7:04 PM
What a surprise!


by: Mazza from: Australia
November 29, 2012 7:04 PM
Once a state goes down the path of Islamic law as the fundament of their legal system, then by definition then begins to exclude democracy (not a facet of modern Islamic Law), religious freedom (excluded in modern Islamic Law), gender equality of any stature (not a facet of modern Islamic Law).

This creates a theocracy, which is a dictatorship format which invests complete and utter state controls in the highest religious leader, and the government is subject to religious leader instructions and decrees.

You may vote for a government, but they are only the administrators of Law as decreed by the religious leadership, who are not subject to any vote by the public.

Many groups and individuals around the globe and in Egypt who advocated and supported the manner of overthrow of the previous regime should now serously consider the ramifications of the manner of the overthrow.

Revolution seldom if never brings freedom to the people, it brings in a military government who came to power via leveraging off the resulting power vacuum.

And no one was more prepared for this power assumption than the Muslim Brotherhood, who despite all claims to the contrary, did ant and did assume power, and have immeditely moved to install Islamic Law.

The Egyptians will now experience what it is to live under a complete autocratic rule that excludes almost all of the freedoms they strove and fought for.


by: Michael Collins
November 29, 2012 6:59 PM
The US is not saying anything right now because the thing they value the most is a stable relationship between Egypt and Israel.

Morsi may have a point about Mubarek's cronies in the judiciary trying to undermine the revolution. If he want's support from liberals and non-muslims to side with him against the courts, he's got to convince them that he's going to govern with an even hand.


by: Rio
November 29, 2012 6:39 PM
Just as the prophet Mohammed turfed out the leaders of Mecca, so too did the majority Islamic nations in his footsteps and turf out leaders in their own countries, only then to be replaced with a new dictators to topple, and so on and so on and so on ad nauseum in this endless Islamic cycle of revolution. Who says history doesn't repeat itself?

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid