Egypt assembly votes on constitution

An Islamist-dominated panel began a fast-track vote on a final draft of a new Egyptian constitution Thursday, pushing through the document despite liberals' boycott in a move likely to stoke a deepening political crisis between the Islamist president and the opposition.

The assembly, overwhelmingly made up of allies of President Mohammed Morsi, abruptly moved up the vote — which hadn't been expected to take place for another two months — in order to pass the draft before Egypt's Supreme Constitution Court rules on Sunday on whether to dissolve the panel.

The vote escalates a confrontation that has already thrown Egypt into turmoil, between Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood supporters on one side and a largely secular and liberal opposition and the nation's judiciary on the other.

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