Egypt's Parliament has for the second time approved an assembly to draft a new constitution after the first attempt was criticized for including too many Islamists.
But the list of 100 names immediately triggered similar objections from liberals and Christians, raising the prospect of fresh legal challenges to the new assembly in the courts – the latest hurdle in Egypt's bumpy transition to democracy.
The delays mean the new president will not know the extent of his powers when he is elected in a runoff vote this weekend.
Islamists hold about two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, leading to fears among liberals that they will again be sidelined in the new Egypt, despite their contribution to the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak's military-backed autocracy last year.
The presidential runoff adds to those fears, pitting Mohamed Morsy, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, against Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force general who was Mubarak's last prime minister.
The main parties in Parliament said last week they had reached an agreement on the shape of the constitutional assembly, and both houses approved the list late on Tuesday.
"This assembly saw many twists that hindered it for some time, but in the end it was formed to represent all Egyptian groups," parliamentary speaker Saad al-Katatny told a joint session of both houses.
Katatny, who resigned from the Muslim Brotherhood's party to take the speaker's post, said the list included 33 people from political parties including members of Parliament, as well as constitutional experts, judicial figures, Christian and Muslim clerics, union members and representatives of the army, police, government and Egypt's youth.
However, some liberal and independent members walked out in protest on Tuesday before the final agreement, saying the list would under-represent women, intellectuals and the Christians who make up a tenth of Egypt's 82 million people.
Amin Eskandar, a member of Parliament for the Karama Party, said there would be too many Islamists in the assembly, "just like in the previous one.”
Egypt's Coptic Orthodox, Anglican and Catholic churches withdrew their representatives from the first assembly, but have so far indicated they will remain in the latest one. Together those churches secured seven seats.
Egypt's prestigious Al-Azhar seat of Sunni learning has five seats. It also withdrew from the first body in solidarity with liberals, churches and others.
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