Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Egypt 2.0: Morsi signs Islamist constitution into law

Civilians rush to withdraw savings from banks after Egyptian president signs bill into law. Obama and Hillary, who made it all possible, now "urge" Morsi to bridge division.
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has signed into law a new Islamist-drafted constitution he says will help end political turmoil and allow him to focus on fixing the fragile economy.

Anxiety about the deepening economic crisis has gripped Egypt in past weeks, with many people rushing to take out their savings from banks and the government imposing new restrictions to reduce capital flight.

Results of a national referendum announced on Tuesday showed Egyptians had approved the text with an overwhelming 63.8 percent, paving the way for a parliamentary election in about two months.

The win gives Islamists their third straight electoral victory since veteran autocrat Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a 2011 revolution, following their earlier wins in parliamentary and presidential elections.

The presidency said Morsi signed a decree enforcing the charter late on Tuesday after the official announcement of the result of a referendum approving the basic law, Egypt's first constitution since Mubarak's overthrow.

The text has sharpened painful divisions in the Arab world's most populous nation and prompted often violent protests on the streets of Cairo.

Opposition groups condemn the new basic law as too Islamist and undemocratic, saying it could allow clerics to intervene in the lawmaking process and leave minority groups without proper legal protection.