CAIRO - Egyptian lawmakers held a heated debate on Saturday as they began selecting 100 people tasked with writing a new constitution, a process crucial to future democracy in the country after the ouster of Hosni Mubarak.
The document will define the balance of power between the army-backed executive and parliament, which wants to curb broad presidential powers and may become the focus of confrontations over the role of Islam in Egyptian laws and society.
The constitution will also outline the future political role of the military, which has been in power since the autocratic Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising in February 2011.
Under an interim constitution, parliament is responsible for picking the 100-strong assembly that will write the new constitution, replacing the one that helped keep Mubarak in power for three decades and was a cornerstone of his rule.
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