Egypt has become dangerously polarized ahead of 15 December voting in a referendum on a new Islamist-tinged constitution. The referendum was brought forward by President Muhammad Mursi following his 22 November constitutional declaration giving him overarching powers.

The key criticisms of the draft constitution go to the heart of what its opponents see as the ‘winner-takes-all’ attitude to democracy of President Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood-backed Freedom and Justice party. The commission tasked with drafting the constitution was packed with Islamists, with scant representation for liberals, secularists and Christians – most of whom have since walked out. (CONTINUED - 3123 WORDS)