Islamists spurn proposal for Egypt's constitution

August 11, 2011 19:19

CAIRO - Egyptian Islamists reacted with indignation on Thursday after a top minister said the government might lay down the basic tenets of a constitution before a new elected parliament gets a chance to debate and vote on the document.

Secularists and some government officials fear Islamists, freed to take part in formal politics after the February overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, plan to grab power in elections later this year and turn Egypt into a theocracy.

The most influential Islamic political groups say they want a civil state with an Islamic reference but have no hidden agenda.

Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Silimi said the government was drafting a document of constitutional principles that could be implemented before the elections if agreed upon by different political groups and public opinion, newspapers reported.

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