Wednesday’s first meeting of the panel charged with drawing up Egypt’s new constitution brought out protesters complaining about the domination of Islamists.
With 60 of the 100 panellists Islamist supporters including the panel’s chairman, activists carried banners declaring “we did not die for the Muslim Brotherhood to write the constitution”.
Activist and Lawyer, Amir Lotfy warned: “The country is going along the wrong path. If the Muslim Brotherhood continues to lead it that way, Egypt may turn into something like Afghanistan or Pakistan.”
“I am here today to say the constitution belongs to the Egyptian people, the Egyptian people including all its sects,” said activist Asmaa Salam.
Secularists fear their calls for a civil state will be muffled, but their tussle over the new charter comes against the backdrop of a wider struggle between the military rulers and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Perhaps as a bid to undermine Islamist support the military has now lifted a ban preventing the hugely popular liberal politician Ayman Nour from running for the presidency.