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Interim leader names panel to amend constitution

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 7:21 p.m.

CAIRO — Egypt's interim president selected a team of legal experts on Saturday to rewrite controversial portions of the Islamist-drafted constitution, as the military-backed leadership moved quickly to try to capitalize on the coup that ousted the country's first freely elected leader.

While supporters of former President Mohamed Morsy protest in the streets, Egypt's prime minister called for consensus and participation of all political groups. But Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood group officially has refused to negotiate with the government, saying they are open for talks only after he is reinstated.

Moves to amend the constitution are the latest push by the country's leadership to move ahead with a military-backed timetable for a return to democratic rule for Egypt.

In his decree, interim President Adly Mansour appointed the 10-member committee of judges and law professors that will propose amendments to the constitution. They have 30 days to suggest amendments. A second committee, comprised of 50 public figures, then will have 60 days to review those amendments.

After that, citizens will vote on the proposed amendments in a referendum, according to the military-backed timetable.

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