Egypt's top court criticizes draft constitution

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CAIRO — Egypt’s highest court lashed out today at an Islamist-led panel tasked with writing the country’s new constitution, saying that some of the proposed provisions undercut the court’s mandate and keep it under the president’s power.

The work — and the composition — of the 100-member constitutional assembly has been the subject of a fierce debate in Egypt, and the country is still haggling over disputed articles in the charter, some of which will determine the role of religion in the nation’s affairs and the independence of the judiciary.

Supporters of the panel drafting the constitution say it was set up by an elected parliament and broadly represents Egypt’s political factions.

Critics say the process is dominated by a majority made up of Islamists, such as the Muslim Brotherhood from which Egypt’s new president, Mohammed Morsi, hails and more radical groups, when it should be determined by consensus.

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