- Middle East/North Africa
The National Dialogue Committee (NDC) has completed its final list of nominations for the Shura Council and plans to present it to President Mohamed Morsy on Friday.
The NDC was formed by the president in an attempt to appease political forces who oppose the draft constitution, and to bridge differences across the parties in the future of the political process.
According to the law, the nominations must be announced before the result of the constitutional referendum, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The president must appoint the 90 members to the upper house of Parliament within hours after receiving the list.
The second and final round of the referendum is scheduled for Saturday 22 December. If the draft is approved, legislative powers would be transferred from the president to the Shura Council until the People’s Assembly is elected.
The Shura Council will be composed of 279 members, a third of whom are to be appointed by the president.
The Shura Council is currently controlled by Islamists. In February 180 members were elected, while the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces declined to appoint the remaining 90 members during the transitional period before Morsy took office.
Members of the National Salvation Front were not nominated, the sources said, because Popular Front leader Hamdeen Sabbahi, Constitution Party leader Mohamed ElBaradei and Egyptian Congress Party leader Amr Moussa refused to be nominated or suggest others.
Nominees include Islamic preacher and Party of Egypt leader Amr Khaled and Ghad al-Thawra Party leader Ayman Nour. Also on the list are Gamal Gibril, the head of the Constituent Assembly’s political systems committee, and eight representatives of Egypt’s three churches.
Farid Ismail of the Freedom and Justice Party said the National Salvation Front is fostering political divisions by refusing to work with other political parties.
The NDC has allocated 55 seats in the council for political parties, 35 seats for public figures, eight seats for the Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican churches, five seats for Al-Azhar, 15 seats for the Freedom and Justice Party, nine seats for the Wasat Party, seven seats for the Ghad Party and 11 seats for the Nour Party.
It has also agreed that the council should not pass any law without holding a national dialogue.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm