Reports: Egypt’s draft constitution goes to interim president

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(CNN) — A 50-member committee completed Sunday an item-by-item vote on the 247 articles of a new constitution for Egypt, according to a breaking news banner on state-run Nile TV and reporting on state-run al-Ahram Online.

The next steps in the process for the the draft to become law are for Egypt’s interim President Adly Mansour to ratify the charter on Tuesday and then announce a date for it to be put to a popular referendum.

The constitution will replace the one suspended in 2011, al-Ahram reported.

Egypt’s new constitution would ban religious parties and put more power in the hands of the military, according to a draft posted on state media earlier Sunday.

“The constitution brings back soft power to Egypt. It’s the real power that gave Egypt influence and a role and glory,” Amr Moussa, head of the assembly, said at a news conference on Saturday. “It deals with the dangerous circumstance through which Egypt passes.”

The new constitutional articles come months after a military coup unseated elected President Mohamed Morsy in July and touched off a series of protests that ended in violence.

The painstaking process of approving the draft of the new constitution started Saturday.

Also on Saturday, security forces dispersed protesters who were demonstrating against Egypt’s anti-protest law.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Saturday called his Egyptian counterpart, Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to express concerns over the law restricting demonstrations and protests, among others.

Hagel told him that Egypt’s response to free expression will demonstrate the interim government’s commitment to a nonviolent democratic transition, according to a statement from the Pentagon.

From Mohammed Tawfeeq

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