Report: Egypt to hold mid-January constitutional referendum

December 10, 2013 01:33


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CAIRO - Egypt will hold a referendum on a new constitution in the middle of January, a government minister told the state-run Al-Ahram newspaper on Monday.

Hany Mahmoud, minister of state for administrative development, said the vote would be held nationwide over two days, the newspaper's website reported.

The new constitution is an important milestone in the political transition plan drawn up by the army-installed interim government that took office after Islamist President Mohamed Morsi was deposed by the military on July 3.

A 50-member assembly finished the draft last week and handed it to interim President Adly Mansour, who has yet to set the referendum date.

The draft removes Islamist-inspired provisions written into the Egyptian constitution approved in a referendum last year while Morsi was still in office. Among other changes, it also deepens the autonomy of the already powerful military.

The draft also allows the authorities to switch the order of elections expected next year. The plan unveiled in July required parliamentary elections to be held first, but the new constitution would allow a presidential election first.

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