Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi has signed into law a new constitution shaped by his Islamist allies, a bitterly contested document which he insists will help end political turmoil and allow him to focus on fixing the economy.
Anxiety about a deepening political and economic crisis has gripped Egypt in past weeks, with many people rushing to buy dollars and withdraw their savings from banks.
The Egyptian pound has tumbled to its weakest level against the US currency in almost eight years.
The new constitution, which the liberal opposition says betrays Egypt’s 2011 revolution by dangerously mixing religion and politics, has polarised the Arab world’s most populous nation and prompted occasionally violent protest on the streets.
The presidency said Mursi had formally approved the constitution the previous evening, shortly after results showed that Egyptians had backed it in a referendum.
The text won about 64 percent of the vote, paving the way for a new parliamentary election in about two months.
The charter states that the principles of sharia, Islamic law, are the main source of legislation and that Islamic authorities will be consulted on sharia – a source of concern to the Christian minority and others.
Countries that don’t separate religion and state almost always are worse places to live than those countries which do.
Egyptians have the right to a democracy. All human beings have that right. but I hope the majority appreciate that there are other rights beyond having a vote.