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Egypt’s top court criticizes constitution draft

Updated: October 16, 2012 8:14AM

CAIRO — Egypt’s most prestigious court has lashed out at an Islamist-led panel tasked with writing the country’s new constitution, saying proposed provisions undercut its mandate and keep it under the president’s power.

Supreme Constitutional Court member Tahani el-Gibaly says the provisions are “disastrous.” She says the panel ignored proposals to allow courts, rather than the country’s president, to choose the members and head.

She spoke after judges held a rare news conference Tuesday denouncing the proposals.

SCC head Maher el-Behiri told reporters the court is in permanent session in protest.

Another court is set to rule on challenges to the panel drafting the constitution, which is dominated by Islamists.

Tensions between Islamists and top courts have risen in the past year over rulings dissolving Islamist-dominated bodies and otherwise curbing their power.

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