The 50-member committee approved by wide margins 50 out of 246 articles in the final draft for a new constitution for the country by 5:30pm.

After finishing a vote on the first chapter of the constitution on the foundations of the state, the members adjourned for a half-hour break.

The electronically-administered vote had started at 4:20pm.

The 50-member committee started the vote by unanimously approving the draft’s preamble.

The preamble states that the new constitution aims to contribute to an Egypt based on democracy and equality, building on the traditions of the country’s great revolutions of 1919, 1952, 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2013.

Amr Moussa, the head of the 50-member committee – which has been amending the suspended 2011 constitution – announced late on Saturday afternoon the start of the session to vote on a new national charter for Egypt.

The members are expected to cast their votes item by item on 246 articles in two back-to-back meetings, Mohamed Salmay, the official spokesperson of the committee, said earlier on Saturday.

The vote will last for at least 24 hours. The proceedings are aired on state owned TV Sout El-Shaab.

The draft included 42 articles that have never been included in any previous Egyptian constitution, Salmay added.

Moussa opened the voting marathon at 4:20pm by reading the draft’s preamble. see more