Egypt's parliament and senate began a joint session on Saturday to appoint a panel to draft a new constitution in what will likely turn into a tug of war between the dominant Islamists and liberals.
The constitution will replace the one suspended by the ruling generals when they assumed power following an uprising that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak a year ago.
Islamists, who won a majority in both houses, are believed to want to dominate the panel, which has placed them at odds with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) and liberals.
The military, which has suggested it would like the new constitution to give it privileges after it hands the reins of government to an elected president this year, has promised to allow parliament to appoint the panel.
But both the SCAF and liberals are believed to want to influence the criteria for constitutional panel members, to ensure that it is not dominated by any one group.