World

In Egypt: Draft Of Constitution OK'd; Protesters Return To Tahrir Square

NPR | Nov. 30, 2012 5:25 a.m.

Contributed By:

Mark Memmott

Protesters have streamed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square again today, correspondent Merrit Kennedy tells our Newscast Desk.

She says they’re there both to demonstrate again against President Mohammed Morsi’s decree giving himself sweeping new powers and to express concern about a draft constitution passed early today by Egypt’s constitutional assembly.

As The Associated Press reports, Islamists approved the draft “without the participation of liberal and Christian members, seeking to pre-empt a court ruling that could dissolve their panel with a rushed, marathon vote that further inflames the clash between the opposition and President Mohammed Morsi.”

And, AP adds:

“The move advanced a charter with an Islamist bent that rights experts say could give Muslim clerics oversight over legislation and bring restrictions on freedom of speech, women’s rights and other liberties. The draft must now be put to a nationwide referendum within 30 days. Morsi said Thursday it will be held ‘soon.’ “

Al-Jazeera writes that:

“Sherine Tadros, reporting from Tahrir Square, said the draft was being viewed as the ‘Muslim Brotherhood constitution.’

” ‘People have already gathered here to join the thousands gathered in a sit-in for much of the past week,’ she reported. ‘They’re here to protest against the recent decrees of the president, but also now against this draft constitution passed last night by the constituent assembly.’ “

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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