Egyptian court suspends panel empowered to write new constitution

A panel made up of 70% Islamist members that was chosen by the Muslim Brotherhood and their allies to write the new constitution has been suspended by the country's supreme court. The significance of this ruling is that the constitution will now almost certainly not be written by the time the presidential elections are held in June, which means that the new president will be operating under the old constitiution - a document that grants him near dictatorial powers. CSM: The court ruled that the Islamist-dominated parliament had acted improperly in naming parliamentarians to fill half the 100 seats of the constituent assembly. The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the largest parliamentary bloc, complained that "politics" had a hand in the judges' decision. Omar Ashour, an expert on Islamist movements who is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Doha Center, said the court's decision could signal a move by the ruling military council to intervene in the...(Read Full Post)