Last Updated: Thu Mar 29, 2012 07:02 am (KSA) 04:02 am (GMT)

Moussa criticizes assembly in charge of drafting Egypt’s post-revolution constitution

Egyptian presidential hopeful Amr Moussa said that women and Copts have been excluded from the assembly that will draft the constitution. (Al Arabiya)
Egyptian presidential hopeful Amr Moussa said that women and Copts have been excluded from the assembly that will draft the constitution. (Al Arabiya)

The Constituent Assembly in charge of drafting Egypt’s first post-revolution constitution lacks proper representation of the Egyptian people, Egyptian presidential hopeful and former Arab League chief Amr Moussa said on Wednesday.

“I am not against having MPs in the Constituent Assembly, but their percentage should not have exceeded 20-25%,” Moussa told Al Arabiya in an interview.

Moussa argued that it is illogic that 50% of the assembly comes from the parliament while the remaining 50% are to be chosen from other Egyptians.

“This will inevitably lead to an imbalance and many echelons of society will end up being excluded.”

The exclusion, Moussa underscored, is specifically applied to women, Copts and professors of constitutional law.

The insistence by Islamists to get the largest possible number of membership in the assembly and their control over the nomination process led to the withdrawal of several political factions and MPs.

The Constituent Assembly is comprised of 37 MPs, 16 from the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) -- the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood -- and 9 from the ultra-conservative al-Nour Party, which represents the Salafists.

Three MPs come from the liberal-oriented Wafd Party’ one from the Construction and Development Party -- the political wing of the previously-militant al-Gamaa al-Islamiya -- and two from the non-Islamist Reformation and Development Party and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.

Liberal MPs rejected Islamist hegemony on the assembly and withdrew during the voting session after accusing Islamists of using the committee for writing the constitution to serve their own interests.

On the other hand, the Supreme Administrative Court set Apr. 10 for issuing a verdict in the lawsuit filed by several political factions and public figures against the formation of the Constituent Assembly on a 50-50 basis.

According to the lawsuit, the new constitution will determine the powers of the legislative authority, represented by the parliament, and its relationship with the judiciary and executive authorities.

Including a large number of members of parliament will strip the constitution of balance and objectivity, the petitioners said.

Moussa was the first potential presidential candidate to submit his papers, including the required 30,000 signatures, and become an official candidate for the post.


(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

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