Church Representative Quits Egypt's Upper House of Parliament

(Photo Credit: No Lands Too Foreign/Creative Commons License)An Egyptian Flag

A Christian politician in the upper house of Egypt's parliament quit on Thursday, saying the "context of consensus" does not exist in the Islamist-dominated chamber which took legislative authority after a new constitution was signed into law.

Nadia Henry, who represents the Anglican Church, was appointed to the position by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. Two-thirds of the 270-member upper house were elected in a vote and one third were appointed by the president.

She was not present at the first meeting of the upper house with appointed members, Reuters reported.

Opponents of the new constitution, which include liberals and Christians, say the charter fails to protect minorities.

Christians make up 10 percent of Egypts 83 million people.

"I agreed to the membership of the Shura Council (upper house) in the context of consensus that stressed all civil forces will get appointed," the former representative Nadia Henry said in a resignation published by the state-owned al-Ahram newspaper, according to Reuters.

"Since that did not happen, I hope you accept my apology for not accepting the appointment," she wrote.

Christians and liberals who participated in an assembly meant to draft the constitution earlier this year quit, saying the document provided no guarantees of a civil stated and threatened freedoms.

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