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Egypt liberal MPs quit constitution panel vote

AFP
24 March 2012 | Egypt
An Egyptian soldier keeps watch during a protest against potential Islamist influence on Egypt's constitution.  By Mohammed Hossam (AFP)
An Egyptian soldier keeps watch during a protest against potential Islamist influence on Egypt's constitution. By Mohammed Hossam (AFP)

CAIRO (AFP) - Egyptian liberal MPs withdrew Saturday from a crucial parliament vote to appoint a panel to draft a new constitution amid a rift with Islamists over the constituent assembly's make up, a liberal party founder said.

"All our MPs withdrew," said Naguib Sawiris, founder of the Free Egyptians Party, the largest liberal party in the Islamist-dominated parliament.

"It's ridiculous," he said. "A constitution being written by one force and one force alone. We tried our best and there was no use."

Sawiris said two parties including his and a coalition of secular and left leaning parties withdrew from the vote for the 100-member panel, half of which will be senators and parliamentarians.

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