Egypt outlines plans for new constitution

December 7, 2011 23:52


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CAIRO - Egypt's army detailed on Wednesday plans to ensure those who draft the constitution represent all society not just groups in parliament, views set to rile Islamists seeking a commanding role in the process after early success in a parliamentary poll.

But the army's remarks may reassure the United States, which gives billions of dollars in military and other aid to Egypt, and other Western nations wary of the rise of Islamists after Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.

Earlier army-backed proposals on the make-up of the assembly to draft the constitution, and its suggestions for articles in the new constitution that would shield the army from civilian rulers, sparked protests in November that turned violent.

The army backtracked and insisted the principles it had outlined were non-binding ideas, but it raised suspicions among politicians and activists that the army wanted to cling to power after formally handing control to civilians next year.

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