- Middle East/North Africa
The National Association for Change warned Tuesday against impulsiveness in drafting the country’s new constitution or circumventing the court ruling that suspended the panel tasked with writing it.
In a statement Tuesday, the National Association for Change stressed the necessity of holding the presidential election as scheduled in May, and of the military handing over power to a civilian government.
Military ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi met Sunday with political party leaders and independent figures to agree on plans to re-form the Constituent Assembly.
A court ruling had accepted a lawsuit challenging the formation of the previous panel. The make-up of the Islamist-dominated body formed in March prompted liberal parties and religious and political figures to withdraw from the assembly.
During the meeting, media reports quoted Tantawi as pressing the need to draft the constitution before the military council is scheduled to hand over power on 30 June. Observers interpreted his call as an intention to postpone the presidential election.
But SCAF member General Mamdouh Shahin said the poll would be conducted as scheduled.
The National Association for Change’s statement said that hastening the constitution-writing process before the election would produce an immature constitution that does not suit a post-revolution Egypt. It added that the issues of the constitution and the presidential election should be handled separately to avoid any delay in the power handover, warning that such delay could drive the country into chaos, violence and economic collapse.
The association urged Egyptians to take part in protests slated for 20 April, which several political groups had called for to demand the exclusion of Mubarak regime figures from the elections and to allow the people to draft the constitution.
Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi rejected any potential move to postpone the presidential vote. He said in a statement on Tuesday that Egyptians would never allow any extension of the transition period.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm