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Egyptian Constitution Revision Under Way
July 21, 2013

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Interim President Anly Mansour's nominees for amending Egypt's constitution are hard at work, with a fast-track transition plan calling for elections within just a few months.

The work on the new governmental framework proceeded despite continued large protests by the ousted Muslim Brotherhood, which is not represented on the new constitution-drafting panel. The Brotherhood has been a constant presence in the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and other large cities since the military ousted President Mohamed Morsi and replace him with Mansour on July 3. Several clashes between protesters and security officials have turned violent, with the number of dead topping 60.

The constitution-drafting panel consists of 10 legal experts and senior judges. Mansour's accelerated timeline calls for a one-month drafting period, followed by a 50-member committee review, to be completed within two months. The next step is a nationwide referendum on the new constitution. The process looks to be an accelerated version of the process that last year introduced a new constitution written by an Islamist-dominated panel and approved by an Islamist-dominated majority of voters. In a reverse of what happened then, the Brotherhood is now planning to boycott any new elections while continuing to insist that Morsi and the elected parliament be reinstated.

The country's economy has turned around a bit, with a fresh infusion of funds from Saudi Arabia and the UAE helping things along. The government reported that the stock exchange hit a seven-week high. The government is still struggling with a very high budget deficit, however, at nearly half of all state spending.

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