Egypt's best known diplomat says a constitution drafted by a 50-member panel he chaired offers unprecedented guarantees for democracy, individual freedoms and gender equality.

Amr Moussa, longtime Arab League chief and also foreign minister, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday he hopes the charter will win at least 70 percent of the votes in a referendum likely in mid-January.

Moussa was a presidential candidate in the 2012 election that was won by Islamist Mohammed Morsi who became Egypt's first freely elected president, succeeding longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Moussa also defended the powers the charter gives Egypt's military, saying this was in the nation's interest at the present time.

He ruled out running for any official position, saying he wants to focus on campaigning for the constitution.