Opposition cries foul as Egypt constitution finalized | Reuters

The deed is done, apparently. What will the Brotherhood’s opponents do in the next few weeks as the referendum campaign takes place?

Annotations:

  • a referendum to be held as soon as mid-December on a text the Islamists say reflects Egypt’s new freedoms
  • the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies have called for pro-Mursi rallies on Saturday. But officials from the Brotherhood’s party changed the venue and said they would avoid Tahrir Square, where a sit-in by the president’s opponents entered an eighth day on Friday.
  • Egypt’s benchmark stock index fell on Thursday to a 20-week-month low
  • Eleven Egyptian newspapers plan not to publish on Tuesday in protest at Mursi’s decree, one reported. Al-Masry Al-Youm also said three privately owned satellite channels would not broadcast on Wednesday in protest.
  • 234 articles
  • legitimacy of the constitutional assembly has been called into question by a series of court cases demanding its dissolution. Its standing has also suffered from the withdrawal of members including church representatives of the Christian minority and liberals
  • Brotherhood argues that approval of the constitution in a referendum would bury all arguments about both the legality of the assembly and the text it has written in the last six months
  • Mursi is expected to approve the adopted draft at the weekend. He must then call the referendum within 15 days. If Egyptians approve the constitution, legislative powers will pass straight from Mursi to the upper house of parliament
  • caps the amount of time a president can serve at two terms, or eight years. Mubarak ruled for three decades. It also introduces a measure of civilian oversight – not nearly enough for the critics – over the military establishment
  • Activists highlighted other flaws such as worrying articles pertaining to the rights of women and freedom of speech.

    “There are some good pro-freedoms articles, but there are also catastrophic articles like one that prevents insults. This could be used against journalists criticizing the president or state officials,” said human rights activist Gamal Eid.

    “We wanted Egyptians to get more freedoms and less presidential powers and were unhappy with the end result in those areas,” said Edward Ghaleb, who had been sitting on the assembly as a representative of the Coptic Orthodox church.

  • Egypt has been without an elected legislature since the Islamist-dominated lower house was dissolved in June
  • “The secular forces and the church and the judges are not happy with the constitution; the journalists are not happy, so I think this will increase tensions in the country,” said Mustapha Kamal Al-Sayyid, a professor of political science at Cairo University. “I don’t know how the referendum can be organized if the judges are upset,”

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via Edwebb’s Favorite Links on wp from Diigo http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/30/us-egypt-president-idUSBRE8AM0DO20121130

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