Christian politician quits Egypt upper house

By REUTERS
December 27, 2012 15:06

CAIRO - A Christian member of Egypt's upper house of parliament quit on Thursday, reflecting persistent political tensions just a day after the Islamist-dominated chamber took over legislative authority under a contentious new constitution.

The Islamist-backed charter, approved in a referendum this month, is meant to be the cornerstone of a democratic and economically stable Egypt. But the opposition says it is too Islamist and does nothing to protect minorities.

The resignation of Nadia Henry, who represents the Anglican Church in the upper house, also highlights worries by Egypt's Christians, who make up about a tenth of its 83 million population, about political gains made by Islamists since Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a 2011 revolution.

Under pressure to show tolerance towards all groups, President Mohamed Morsi appointed 90 members including Christians, Liberals and women to the upper house - with Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and ultra-conservative Salafis - last week.

But in a resignation letter published by the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper, Henry said liberal and other minority groups were not represented properly in the chamber.


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