Egyptian People's Assembly approves constitutional amendments   


CAIRO, March 19 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian lower house of parliament People's Assembly on Monday approved the amendment of34 constitutional articles, the Egyptian official MENA news agency reported.  

The amendments of 34 constitutional articles was approved by the 454-seat People's Assembly with a vote of 315 in favor and is scheduled to go to a nationwide referendum due in early April, parliament speaker Fathi Sorour announced.


Originally scheduled on Tuesday, the People's Assembly's vote on the constitutional amendments came a day earlier than expected after hours of discussion.     

On Dec. 26 last year, Mubarak proposed amendments of 34constitutional articles to introduce comprehensive reforms to guarantee more democratic freedoms in the country.     

The amendments, the first major change in the constitution since 1971, covers the optimal election system and representation of political parties at the parliament and empowerment of women and bans the formation of political parties based on religious denomination.     

Officially banned in 1954 for its attempt to set up an Islamic government, Egypt's largest Islamic opposition group Muslim Brotherhood has 88 seats in the People's Assembly after its members ran as independents in the 2005 legislative election