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Constitutional assembly picked in Egypt

March 24, 2012 at 12:32 PM

CAIRO, March 24 (UPI) -- The Egyptian Parliament, with Islamist representatives in the majority, held a joint session Saturday to select the body to write a new constitution.

Half of the 100 members of the constituent assembly are to be members of Parliament, Egypt Independent reported. The other 50 are to include 15 respected public figures and 35 representatives of bodies such as unions and the Coptic Church.

The 50-50 plan was proposed by the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, and approved last Saturday by Parliament.

Several hundred people gathered Friday outside the High Court to protest the plan. Opponents say Islamists want to dominate the constitutional process, drowning out other voices.

The major debates on the new constitution include whether to limit the powers of the president by giving Parliament the right to name the Cabinet. The role of the military and the role of Islam and Shariah law are also on the table.

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