Egypt assembly approves new draft constitution
[Iran Press TV] Egypt's Constituent Assembly has approved the final draft of the country's first constitution after the ouster of autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak.
The assembly's marathon session began on Thursday and came to end early on Friday, with the members voting for all the 234 articles of the charter.
The final draft will be sent to President Mohamed Morsi for approval on Friday, who is expected to submit it for a popular referendum.
The panel upheld Islamic principles as the main source of legislation in the country. "Islam is the state religion, and the Arabic language is its official language. The principles of Islamic sharia are the main source of legislation," an agreed clause read.
The assembly also approved a clause stating that the principles of Christian and Jewish legal traditions would guide their personal and religious affairs. Muslim Brotherhood - whose candidate won the presidential vote six months ago - hopes the move will help end protests against the president.
The draft largely reflects the conservative vision of the Islamists, with articles that rights activists, liberals and Christians fear will lead to restrictions on the rights of women and minorities and civil liberties in general.
Omissions of certain articles, such as bans on slavery or promises to adhere to international rights treaties, were equally worrying to critics of the new draft, who pulled out from the panel before the vote.
Posted by: Fred