Demonstrators in Egypt have expressed frustration with President Mohamed Morsi after he issued a decree granting him sweeping new powers. Detractors expressed concern over his grip on power, while supporters noted the move was a temporary means to facilitate constitutional developments.
The panel reviewing the 234 articles in the draft constitution started vetting the document Thursday. The panel, in a unanimous vote, accepted the first article of the constitution that describes Egypt as an independent, sovereign and democratic state.
The panel backed Article 2, which says Islamic law is the primary source of legislation. Four members objected to Article 3, however, which said minority Christians and Jews may use the own religious doctrines "on issues of personal status," the Egyptian Independent news agency reports.
The report notes that 85 member members of the assembly were present Thursday. To pass, 67 members need to vote in favor of an article.
Some political movements and groups pulled out of the assembly to protest. The dominant role of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, affiliated with the president, has concerned some Egyptian leaders.
The new agency reports that it expects the constitution will be approved and submitted to the president Saturday.