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

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

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    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid