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Egypt constitution changes nearing

A panel tasked with amending Egypt's Islamist-backed constitution says it will complete its work by early November, a spokesman said.

Mohammed Salmawy says committees have approved about a third of the charter, mostly non-controversial clauses on basic freedoms.

The panel was appointed by interim president Adly Mansour, who succeeded Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi after the latter's ousting in a popularly-backed coup in July.

The new charter will replace one adopted in a referendum in December after an Islamist-dominated panel approved it in an all-night session.

That constitution is widely seen to place restrictions on freedoms of expression and to give clerics a say over legislation.

The adoption of a new constitution or amendments to the charter adopted last year will be followed by parliamentary and presidential elections.

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