Egypt’s parliament convened for its second attempt to elect a 100-member committee to draft a new constitution amid boycotts clouding the process days before a presidential runoff.
Fifty seven lawmakers, including independents and members of political parties, withdrew from the meeting to protest the “stubbornness” of other legislators, the state-run news agency reported, citing lawmaker Ahmed Ziad Bahaa Eddin. The parties that left include The Free Egyptians Party, co-founded by billionaire Naguib Sawiris, according to the Cairo-based Middle East News Agency.
Bickering over the makeup of the panel has delayed the drafting of a new constitution, which is expected to lay out the powers of the president. The selection of a committee today comes after a previous panel was disbanded following a court ruling about its composition.
“Sadly, over the past few weeks we had hopes for reaching real consensus, but this didn’t happen,” MENA cited Bahaa Eddin as saying. “We are forced to withdraw after exhausting all efforts to reopen discussions to realize consensus.”
A decisive second round of voting that pits the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential hopeful against Hosni Mubarak’s last premier is scheduled to begin on June 16.
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