A number of politicians have walked out of the assembly responsible for drafting Egypt’s new constitution arguing that their opinions were being ignored.

12 liberals have resigned from the constituent assembly dominated by Islamic groups, along with eight technical advisors and five representatives from Christian churches.

Arguments about the role of Islam within the constitution have divided the assembly, leading to doubts that a draft will be ready by the deadline of 12 December.

Once drafted, the constitution will be voted upon in a referendum. Egypt needs to have a constitution in place to replace the previously dissolved parliament.

There has also been much debate surrounding the legality of the constituent assembly drafting the constitution. In October, it was announced that Egypt’s Supreme Court would rule whether the assembly was formed legally.

Numerous lawsuits have been filed criticising the make-up of the assembly and raising concerns that the panel remains swayed in favour of Islamist groups.

In particular, it questioned provisions that reinstate the president’s ability to select judges and bring to an end the court’s right to rule on laws passed by Egypt’s parliament.