Former judge challenges Egypt's new constitution

Only female to sit on highest court loses seat


CAIRO — The only female judge to sit on Egypt's highest court says she has filed the first legal challenge against the country's highly contentious constitution, which cost her the seat she held.

Tahani el-Gebali said today she filed a complaint to the Supreme Constitutional Court questioning the legality of the charter, which she said was drafted and passed illegally. She called it “a threat to the rule of law.”

El-Gebali said she asked the court to nullify the consequences of the constitution's passage, one of which is the reduction of the number of judges sitting on the court. She argues that violates the court's independence.

The constitution has highly polarized Egyptians. It passed by a 64 percent ‘Yes’ vote in a referendum in which around only 33 percent of voters participated.