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The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) withdrew 10 of its members from the constituent assembly and replaced them with liberal appointees amid protest from political parties, religious institutions and special interests over the assembly.
During a joint session Saturday, Parliament had announced the names of the 100 people that would form the committee responsible for drafting the constitution. However, many liberal members withdrew from the assembly in protest at the Brotherhood controlling the majority. Christian and women’s groups also decried their representation in the assembly.
The FJP decision to change some 10 of the members came after Al-Azhar withdrew its sole member Thursday, on the grounds that it was not adequately represented, and two Coptic members also withdrew, which has increased tension between the Brotherhood and other political forces.
In an earlier meeting with the military council to discuss the issue, FJP President Mohamed Morsy vowed to substitute 10 members.
Adel Afify, leader of the Salafi-led Asala Party, had held the FJP responsible for the controversy.
“The FJP excluded the liberal parties and other Islamist parties from the assembly,” he said. “And it has implicated the Salafi-led Nour Party in the process.”
MP Mostafa Bakry said 14 parties attending the meeting with the military council agreed that the FJP would substitute its members with three parliamentarians and seven public figures. "The assembly should be adequately representative of all social and political strata of Egyptian society," he said.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm