An Egyptian court has suspended the formation of the Islamist-dominated assembly that was poised to draft the country's new constitution. It is unlikely that the Muslim Brotherhood will welcome the news.
An Egyptian court on Tuesday blocked the creation of a constitutional assembly appointed last month to draft the country's new constitution. The move was made pending a ruling on its legality, following fierce complaints from liberal and Christian groups that the Islamist- dominated panel did not reflect the diversity of Egyptian society.
Judge Ali Fekri said the court "rejected the argument that the court is not specialized and decided to halt the decision."
This case, presented by lawyers and activists, represented one of numerous lawsuits that had called for the assembly to be scrapped. Its creation last month sparked outcry over the lack of representation for youth groups, women and Christian Copts. Christian religious bodies also earlier withdrew from the commission.
"This means the assembly's activities are frozen; it is suspended until further notice, until the judicial panel convenes," said lawyer Khaled Abo Bakr.
The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party has maintained that the assembly is representative of Egypt's society.
The current constitution was suspended in February last year by the army. The military came to power after the country's former president, Hosni Mubarak, was forced out of office by a wave of popular protests.
The new constitution could be key to determining which state institutions will rule Egypt and the extent and nature of individual freedoms and the terms of presidential power.
sej/mz (DPA, Reuters)