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Constitution Battle Looms Large in Egypt

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TEHRAN, March 15 (ICANA) – Mohamed ElBaradei, the former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and a candidate for the upcoming presidential election in Egypt, has called for canceling a referendum on the proposed constitutional amendments.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 10:38:06 PM
Constitution Battle Looms Large in Egypt

The leading opposition figure said the referendum, which is scheduled to be held on 19 March, should be canceled due to deep divisions in the country over the proposed changes, Huffington Post reported on Monday.

ElBaradei had earlier announced his rejection of the amendments, demanding a whole new constitution for the North African country.

He called for a reversal of the elections schedule outlined by the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces including constitutional referendum, parliamentary elections, and presidential elections.

ElBaradei pleaded for the formation of a "presidential council" to oversee government affairs and see through this process.

A month after a popular revolution forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave office on February 11, politicians from across the spectrum have begun to debate whether a new constitution is needed to breathe life into political institutions.

Opposition forces are divided over the controversial constitutional amendments.

While the Muslim Brotherhood says it will vote for the amendments, the leftist Tagammu Party has called on voters to reject them.

"Constitutional amendments are the most suitable, not the most ideal solution for this transitional period that cannot drag for too long," Muslim Brotherhood deputy Khairat Shater said earlier.

Refaat Said, the head of the leftist Tagammu Party, rejected the recommended amendments, saying the amendments do not take into consideration the concept of citizenship and do not restrict the powers of the president.

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