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Monday
Jul222013

Egyptian Interim President Calls for Constitution Rewrite

KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) -- The Egyptian constitution, which many feel greased the skids for former President Mohamed Morsi's ouster, is going to be rewritten.

Interim President Adly Mansour made the announcement over the weekend that 10 judges and law professors will get to work on proposing amendments to the constitution that was frozen in the wake of Morsi's removal by the military nearly three weeks ago.

The panel has one month to come up with its recommendations for a new constitution, while a larger committee will propose additional changes over a two-month span.

It was last December that an Islamist-backed constitution passed by about a two-thirds majority during two rounds of voting.  However, only 17 million Egyptians, or about 30 percent of eligible voters, cast ballots to decide whether to accept the document.

At the time, Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party said that the outcome was a mandate to move Egypt in a different direction from the more secular reign of former President Hosni Mubarak, who ruled with an iron fist for 30 years.

Critics, however, contend that the new constitution will curtail the rights women have achieved in Egypt, which are comparatively advanced for an Arab state.  Christians and other minorities also fear this will leave them open to more persecution.

There were massive demonstrations leading up to the vote on the constitution, which were a precursor to the huge protests that occurred right before Morsi lost power earlier this month.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio