As the draft of Egypt’s new constitution was made available last week, the battle for political influence continued unabated. The draft retains a number of the military’s privileges, but the armed forces still face challenges from the security forces, the police and the Ministry of Interior. The judiciary has played a prominent role since the overthrow of President Mubarak in 2011, and guards its independence jealously. And the youth movement, which feels that the revolution it led against former President Husni Mubarak has been hijacked first by President Muhammad Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood and then by the military, retains much of its momentum. Even the Muslim Brotherhood has managed to stage some protests.

The draft constitution, which is intended to replace a constitution approved in a referendum during the rule of President Mursi last year, will also be put to a referendum. While last year’s constitution received a majority of the votes, a voter turnout of only around 33% left it vulnerable to criticism. A two-thirds majority in favor of the new constitution would be needed at the referendum to consider it a decisive victory over the Brotherhood, opponents of the Islamists say. (CONTINUED - 723 WORDS)