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

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: fmc from: USA
    November 29, 2012 4:17 PM
    Why haven't we heard any expression of disapproval from President Obama?

    It's not as if he's never had anything critical to say about the governance of Egypt. When Gadaffi was in charge he was rather vocal. Now he's silent, which makes one wonder why.
    In Response

    by: fmc from: Hull MA
    November 30, 2012 8:42 PM
    Sorry, I meant Mubarak.

    When Mubarak was mistreating people Obama went to bat. Now that Morsi is in charge Obama is OK with that because he's going to deal with Egypt in the future? He could have dealt just as well with Mubarak.

    Sorry, I don't see the difference, other than one being Islamist while the other was not. Two bad guys, only he tolerates one ideology over the other.
    In Response

    by: Hamdi from: USA
    November 30, 2012 6:45 AM
    Why not complete seperation of state and religion?
    In Response

    by: Bill334 from: USA
    November 29, 2012 8:27 PM
    This conflict between Egyptian freedom and fascism will go through the same process as it has in all other ME countries where Islam has been forcibly imposed. Civil War.

    You'll know where the American dear leader stands when the Egyptian Christians are referred to as the 'insurgents' and the US arms the Muslims.
    In Response

    by: mc from: Canada
    November 29, 2012 8:22 PM
    Because they had already decided they would be driving for a Gadaffi regime change. They know they might need to deal with Egypt in future so he's keeping quiet.
    In Response

    by: mudgutz from: London
    November 29, 2012 8:08 PM
    Gadaffi was in charge of Libya.

    by: ali baba from: new york
    November 29, 2012 3:42 PM
    moresy has made his mind to destroy Egypt.by adapted Islamic law ,it means an end of religion freedom . I feel bad about Christian whom they have to face the dilemma in daily basis when the mentally ill Muslim impose their will on them the . they will have to face the madness of Islam on every single day
    In Response

    by: reflection from: uk
    November 29, 2012 6:33 PM
    Ermm..Eygpt has been an Islamic ountry for over 1200 years. There's always been christians there and they have always lived in peace. Stop makiing up rubbish. History speaks for itself.

    by: readyrover
    November 29, 2012 3:33 PM
    As the old song says..."Meet the New Boss..same as the Old Boss" All that has happened is a change in dictators. This is what passes for 'democracy'. How weak, directionless and insecure must a nation be who craves a dictator after having already thrown out another one? Time will tell. Or is time already telling?

    by: kevin L from: Alpharetta
    November 29, 2012 3:23 PM
    That is one scary picture. And we still send them our hard earned money.

    by: rgw46 from: world
    November 29, 2012 3:10 PM
    yep--there ya go..narrow minds...FREEDOM is to practise what you believe..NOT dictating it..

    by: Nikos Retsos from: Chicago, USA
    November 29, 2012 1:55 PM
    There is a false impression conveyed to the readers here, which implies that Islamic Law principles determine all other laws in the new constitution. Add the protester's pictures; add the "dictatorial" adjectives describing Mr. Morsi above, and the report gives the readers the wrong impression that another Islamic Republic like Iran's is in the making in Egypt! I believe that most readers will miss the word "retain" that means "No Change" on Islamic matters in the new constitution," and might wrongfully be left with the impression that Mr. Morsi is about to declare himself a new "Grand Ayatollah" of Egypt! Not so. Islamic values in Egypt are "lite,' not square beliefs like in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Chechnya, and North Mali. Nikos Retsos, retired professor
    In Response

    by: Bill334 from: USA
    November 29, 2012 8:23 PM
    Tell ya' what, "Nickos"... if you refuse to recognize the Sha 'ria for what it is then you're nothing more than another propagadist tool. You need to stay retired, "professor," because the world's "kaffir/infidel" population is not as gullible as you would pretend it to be. If Islam behaves, sounds and stinks like a fascist theocracy, then it's a fascist theocracy.

    by: Anonymous from: UK
    November 29, 2012 11:22 AM
    yeah... "constitution"... just like their "dimookracy"... hey its Egypt... and its still Arab...
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora