Egypt's constitutional assembly began voting, Thursday, on articles of a new constitution, according to Agence France Presse. A draft of the document said Islamic religious law is the main source for the document, but a clause was approved that said the personal and religious affairs of Christians and Jews would be guided by the principles of their legal traditions. An as-yet unagreed article seeks to explain Islamic law in Sunni terms.
Liberals, leftists, and representatives of Egypt's churches had withdrawn from the panel, complaining that the assembly was undemocratic and rushing through its work. If a 67-percent threshhold is not met after one round of voting, a second round requiring only 57 percent will be held. After 24 hours, the panel will meet to find alternatives to rejected articles, or strike them from the charter. The draft constitution will then be sent to President Mohammed Morsi, who must call a referendum to be held within 30 days. It is thought he might do so within two weeks.