Egyptians spar over constitution

April 19, 2012 at 9:49 AM
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CAIRO, April 19 (UPI) -- Political groups in Egypt are called on to respect parliamentary authority to pick a new assembly tasked with drafting the constitution, a lawmaker said.

The High Administrative Court in Cairo announced last week that it ruled in favor of a case challenging a constitutional panel. The challenge claims that it was illegal for members of Parliament to appoint themselves to the body.

The panel consisted of 50 members of Parliament and 50 others chosen from outside the Islamist-dominated legislative assembly. The panel was subsequently suspended.

Hussein Ibrahim, head of the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party in the parliamentary assembly, said his organization respected the court's decision but noted other political groups must respect Parliament's "absolute authority to form the 100-member assembly," Egyptian news service al-Ahram reports.

Political divisions are growing more severe as Egypt heads closer to May presidential elections. Islamists, including FJP, hold a dominant position in the Egyptian Parliament. Khairat al-Shater, a candidate from the FJP, was banned from competing in the presidential contest because of a criminal record.

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