June 12, 2012 - 21:22 AMT
MPs boycott Egypt constitution panel vote

An attempt to move Egypt closer to drafting a new constitution got off to a shaky start after a boycott by MPs, BBC News said.

Government members met to select a 100-member panel which will have the task of putting together a constitution.

However, a number of liberal MPs withdrew from voting over the distribution of seats on the panel.

The meeting was arranged last week after negotiations between parties on the makeup of the constitution drafting body reached an agreement.

Liberal MPs claimed Islamist politicians were seeking to dominate the new panel, and have filed a court case to declare the body illegal, according to the Associated Press.

A similar boycott took place - with similar reasons cited - in March 2012.

The meeting was intended to be a joint sitting of both chambers of the Egyptian parliament, and was called by Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces.

In January Egypt held its first parliamentary elections since the 2011 uprising and the ousting of former President Hosni Mubarak in January.

The election resulted in an overwhelming victory for Islamist parties.

The result of Egypt's presidential election is still undecided, with the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi and former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq due to face the polls on 16-17 June.