15 Dec 2013

Vote on new Egypt constitution

12:07 pm on 15 December 2013

Egyptians will vote on a new constitution in January, pushing on with the army-backed government's plan for transition back to democracy after its overthrow of the elected Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

The constitution will replace one passed by Mr Morsi, who was deposed by the army in July after mass protests against his rule.

The document should pave the way for new parliamentary and presidential elections to take place next year.

The draft was prepared by a 50-member assembly appointed by interim president Adly Mansour, Reuters reports.

It removes Islamist-inspired provisions from the previous Constitution and restricts the formation of religious political parties and allows the armed forces - not the president - to pick the minister of defence for two full presidential terms.

About 50 million Egyptians of the population of 85 million have the right to vote in the constitutional referendum which will take place on 14 and 15 January.