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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:31 AM

Former Judge Challenges Egypt's Constitution


Former Judge Challenges Egypt's Constitution
By SARAH EL DEEB Associated Press
CAIRO January 8, 2013 (AP)

The only female judge to sit on Egypt's highest court said Tuesday she has filed the first legal challenge against the country's highly contentious constitution, which cost her the seat she held.

Tahani el-Gebali said she filed her complaint to the Supreme Constitutional Court questioning the legality of the charter, which she said was drafted and passed illegally.

But experts said they doubted the constitutional court would try to intervene in the charter now that it was approved in a referendum last month. Doing so would likely spark a direct clash with Islamist President Mohammed Morsi. Though Morsi and judges have been sharply at odds throughout the constitution-writing process over the powers of the executive and judiciary, judges have hesitated to outright overrule him.

The constitution has sharply polarized Egyptians. The opposition organized massive rallies last month against the charter, deadly clashes erupted and there were calls for delaying a national vote on it. Still, the document passed by a 64 percent 'yes' vote in a referendum in which around only 33 percent of voters participated.


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