Protesters reject formation of constitution-writing assembly

Protesters reject formation of constitution-writing assembly

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Fri, 23/03/2012 - 17:18

Hundreds protested against the formation of a constituent assembly they fear will be primarily composed of Islamists onFriday in front of the High Court of Justice.

Activists and families of detained activists participated in the demonstration, calling for the release of those arrested since the start of the revolution in January 2011, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.  Also present were members of April 6 Youth movement and of the Facebook page, the"Second Revolution of Anger."

The protesters raised banners reading “no constitution under the military rule.” They also chanted slogans “Oh MPs no constitution from the Brotherhood.”

The demonstrators also demanded a swift transfer of power from the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces to a civilian government.

On Thursday, the Alliance of Egyptian Revolutionaries called for demonstrations on Friday before the High Court of Justice against the proposed formation of a constituent assembly who will write the country’s new constitution. In recent few weeks, political forces have argued over what percentage of the constituent assembly should be determined by the Islamist-dominated Parliament.

The alliance also demanded that Parliament step back from its decision that MPs should constitute half of the assembly’s members.

The Parliament’s method of selecting assembly members “violates the simple rules of logic and justice,” the alliance spokesperson, Amer al-Wakil, said Thursday.

In a joint meeting of the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council Saturday, Parliament adopted the suggestion of the Freedom and Justice Party regarding the choice of members for the constituent assembly.

According to the party’s proposal, half of the assembly members will be from Parliament and the other half will be composed of experts from other fields.

Parliament’s decision to support the FJP proposal was rejected by some political figures.

Minister of Solidarity and Domestic Trade Gouda Abdel Khaleq criticized the Islamist-dominated Parliament for trying to control the process of drafting the constitution on Monday. Presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi, from the Karama party, demanded that the whole assembly be formed of members from outside Parliament.