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Egypt constitutional court dismisses challenge to constitutional assembly

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court [official website] on Sunday dismissed complaints against the assembly that drafted the country's new constitution, the official MENA news agency reported. The complaints had challenged the method for selecting members [AFP report] of the assembly and said the panel, which liberals and Christians had boycotted [JURIST report], did not represent all Egyptians. The charter was passed in a referendum [JURIST report] in December. Opposition to the constitution argue that certain clauses favored Islamic law in Egypt, disadvantaging the large Christian minority in the country. The court continues to examine challenges against the constitutional assembly.

Since the beginning of its revolution [JURIST backgrounder], Egypt has been plagued by continuing protests and violence. The Egyptian Shura Council approved a draft election law [JURIST report] in February, paving the way for parliamentary elections to be held in the next few months. The new election law embodies the key changes to five articles [JURIST report] as demanded by Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court earlier that month. Earlier last month the Supreme Constitutional Court postponed ruling [JURIST report] on whether the legislative constitutional assembly that drafted the charter was legitimate. Last month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay [official profile] voiced concern [JURIST report] over the growing violence and rising death toll in Egypt stemming from ongoing protests throughout the country. Also in January Morsi declared a state of emergency in an attempt to quell growing unrest and protests following an Egyptian court ruling handing down 21 death sentences [JURIST reports] for a 2012 soccer riot that resulted in 74 deaths and thousands of injuries.

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