Egypt’s April 6 Movement, one of the main youth groups that took part in the uprising that ousted president Hosni Mubarak last year, announced on Tuesday its support for Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi in the presidential runoff this week.
In a statement to the media, the movement urged Egyptians to vote against former air force commander and Mubarak’s last prime minister Ahmad Shafiq in order not “reproduce the former regime.”
The movement also called for a “balanced” and broad-based panel that will draft a new constitution.
The formation of the 100-member panel got off to a bumpy start when liberal lawmakers boycotted the process in the parliament on Tuesday.
The meeting of the parliament's lower and upper chambers, which are both dominated by Islamists, was called by military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi after negotiations between political factions to agree on the makeup of the panel reached a deadlock.
A court ruling has disbanded a previous panel that was packed with Islamists. Liberal lawmakers say the Islamists are again seeking to dominate the new panel. They said a court case has already been filed to declare the body illegal.
The deadlock over the constitutional assembly has held up a central element of the transition to civilian rule mapped out by the military council that assumed power from Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, 2011.
The new constitution will replace the one that underpinned Mubarak's three decades in power. Up for debate are crucial questions such as the extent of presidential powers and whether the parliament might be given new authority.
The generals are due to hand power to a new head of state on July 1. The identity of the new president will be decided on Saturday and Sunday by a run-off vote between Shafiq, Hosni Mubarak's last prime minister, and Mursi.