Egypt inches closer to new constitution

Feb. 27, 2012 at 10:59 AM
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CAIRO, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Ruling military authorities in Egypt announced a committee planned for this week would vet members of a council tasked with drafting a new constitution.

Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi said a 100-member assembly would be vetted Saturday, Egyptian news agency al-Ahram reports.

The announcement coincides with debates over Parliament. A high court referred articles of a parliamentary law to a constitutional body to consider if it was legal for political parties to stand for elections for the 30 percent of the seats reserved in Parliament for individual candidates.

Egyptian opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei had said it was premature to form the constitutional assembly because of parliamentary disputes. If the court finds political parties violated the law, parts of the election would have to be conducted again, the news agency reports.

The first presidential elections in post-revolution Egypt are scheduled for late May. Registration for potential candidates starts mid-March and runs through April 18.

Egyptians have expressed frustration with the pace of political reforms in the country. Elections were promised within six months of the early 2011 revolution to pushed President Hosni Mubarak out of office after more than 30 years in power.

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