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Constitution-writing Begins in Egypt
September 8, 2013

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Egypt's constitution-writing panel met for the first time, its 50 members tasked with rewriting the country's government blueprint in just two months.

The panel, filled with secularist parties and liberals, elected as its leader former presidential candidate and Arab League leader Amr Moussa. The makeup of the panel is in stark contrast to the previous constitution-writing panel, a majority of which were members of the Muslim Brotherhood or other Islamist sects.

Already, a 10-member expert panel has made recommendations for what should be included in the new constitution. The members of that panel and of the larger panel were selected by interim President Adly Mansour.

Once the panel has agreed on the contents of the constitution, the blueprint must be approved by a majority of registered voters. The next steps would be to elect members of Parliament and to elect a new president.

The process is much the same as the one that created the country's current constitution, which was approved by a majority of a 33-percent turnout in a referendum in December 2012. That constitution was suspended in July, when the military removed President Mohamed Morsi from power.

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