CAIRO Dec 23 Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi
announced names of 90 new members he appointed to the upper
house of parliament, state media reported, and a presidential
official said the list was mainly liberals and other
Two thirds of the 270-member upper house were elected in a
vote early this year, with one third appointed by the president.
Mursi, elected in June, had not named them till now. Mursi's
Islamist party and its allies dominate the assembly.
A presidential official, ahead of the formal announcement,
said 75 percent of those selected were not Islamists, and
included liberals and Christians, a minority who make up about
10 percent of the population.
Hussein Abdel Ghani, a spokesman for the National Salvation
Front, a coalition of leading opposition politicians and groups,
said ahead of the announcement that the Front refused to take
any seats. "We will never accept such thing," he told Reuters.
The constitutional court had been due to deliver a ruling on
the legality of the upper house of parliament earlier this
month, but a protest by Islamists outside the court halted its
work and the assembly has continued to operate.
Under a new constitution expected to be approved in a
referendum on Saturday, the upper house will assume legislative
powers now held by the president until a new lower house it
elected in a vote likely to take place early in 2013.
The lower house of parliament, also dominated by Islamists,
was dissolved earlier this year after a court declared the rules
by which it was elected unconstitutional.