Egypt Independent

Constituent Assembly members want more time to finish constitution

Some Constituent Assembly

members have asked on President Mohamed Morsy to cancel the deadline for the assembly to finish the draft of the constitution, sources said on Thursday.

The assembly’s language committee must discuss judicial authority powers and make decisions on disputed articles on Saturday, Ali said. The committee would also consider new amendments to the draft proposed by assembly members over the past week.

For instance, Al-Azhar advisor and assembly member Mohamed Abdel Salam had proposed that Article 4 on the election of the grand sheikh of Al-Azhar be amended, so as to guarantee the institution’s independence from the state.

Nour Party Constituent Assembly member Salah Abdel Ma'boud said he had also proposed many amendments to the draft, including adding three articles to the section on general provisions.

Constituent Assembly Secretary General Amr Darrag had said Wednesday that the final draft of the new constitution would be issued on 20 November after assembly members vote on it.

The draft would be put to a referendum during December, Darrag added during a seminar organized by Masr al-Kheir Foundation on the importance of scientific research under the new constitution.

Constitutional expert and Constituent Assembly member Gaber Gad Nassar criticized what he described as "the haste of the assembly and its insistence to complete the constitution within two weeks."

He added that he and other members threatened to withdraw from the assembly because of "this weird haste."

The state-run Al-Ahram website reported Thursday that 30 Constituent Assembly members issued "a statement to the nation" in which they rejected the two-week timeline set by the assembly. They warned that haste could lead to issuing a weak constitution that harms the nation.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm