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Leaders of political parties with representatives in the Constituent Assembly will convene on Tuesday to discuss achieving consensus between Islamist and liberal groups on controversial constitutional articles, said assembly member and Nour Party leader Younis Makhyoun.
Speaking to the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper, Makhyoun played down political disagreements, evidenced by Islamists’ calls for demonstrations Friday to demand Sharia as the country’s main source of legislation. “Those are merely differences in points of views which we seek to overcome with consensus,” he said.
He added that assembly members have agreed on all constitutional articles except for ten that are related to freedoms, women's rights and presidential powers.
The assembly's committees will begin Tuesday to review the first constitutional draft, issued last week, Makhyoun said. He added that the assembly will, then, issue a complete draft during the first week of November that will be subject to public debate followed by a referendum in mid-November. He said the constitution will, therefore, be ready for referendum before December.
Muslim Brotherhood official and assembly member Farid Ismail told the newspaper that different political groups agree more than disagree, and said that the new constitution would meet the aspirations of all Egyptians.
Assembly member Wahid Abdel Meguid said, without specifying, that some political parties "do not distinguish between a constitution and a partisan platform and are not aware that constitutions are drafted by consensus rather than according to the will of the majority."
Abdel Meguid described Islamist threats to protest to push for certain articles as "an unprecedented phenomenon," adding that constitutions should represent all of the country’s social sectors.