Connect to share and comment

Egyptian Constitution: Assembly votes on final draft today

Egypt's Islamist-dominated assembly that is writing its constitution has convened to vote on the final draft today, much sooner than expected.

Tahrir square morsi egypt islamist constitution 112712Enlarge
Tens of thousands people take part in a mass rally against a decree by President Mohamed Morsi granting himself broad powers on November 27, 2012 at Egypt's landmark Tahir Square in Cairo. Egyptians face a grim choice between an Islamist constitution and a return to dictatorship. (GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

Egypt's Islamist-dominated assembly that is writing its constitution has convened to vote on the final draft today, much sooner than expected.

In one of its first steps, the assembly has voted to keep sharia, or Islamic law, as the main source of legislation, reported BBC News. The decision came after the constitutional court said it would rule on Sunday whether to dissolve the assembly.

More from GlobalPost: On Constitution, Egyptians face a grim choice

Assembly Chairman Judge Hossam El-Gheriani also held a vote to replace 11 members who had boycotted the session in protest over the rush to wrap up the discussion of the new constitution, according to The New York Times.

"We shouldn't rush the draft of the constitution because we're afraid of this or that, or because there's a 'million man' march today or tomorrow," delegate Mohamed Mohyi El Deen said, referring to fears of the court decision and political pressure.

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi recently granted himself sweeping new powers in a decree that has sparked huge protests across the country, BBC noted. Liberal, left-wing and Christian members have boycotted the assembly, saying the Islamists are trying to impose their views.

Morsi is expected to call for national unity in a public address later today, reported Reuters. The president said the majority supported his decree, but added: "If we had a constitution, then all of what I have said or done last week will stop."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/121129/egyptian-constitution-assembly-votes-final-draft-today