CAIRO - Amr Moussa, a stalwart of the government of Egypt's veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak, has been selected to chair the committee entrusted with amending a constitution pushed through by the deposed Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi.
Despite promising an inclusive approach, the army-backed government included only two Islamists on the crucial committee, neither from Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, now the target of a sweeping security crackdown after more than a year in power.
Moussa, who was foreign minister for 10 years under Mubarak, won the votes of 30 of the committee's 50 members when the group convened for the first time on Sunday.
The interim government, installed by the army after it overthrew Morsi on July 3, wants the panel to complete its work within 60 days. The constitution will then be put to a popular vote and provide the basis for parliamentary and presidential elections and a return to civilian rule early next year.
A first draft of the new charter, leaked two weeks ago, would remove Islamic additions forced through under Morsi.
It would also scrap a rule preventing a rapid return to public office for former members of Mubarak's government, overthrown by the "Arab Spring" uprising in January 2011 at the start of a political crisis that still continues.