- Life Style
The first draft of the new constitution released last week continues to be discussed and debated inside and outside the Constituent Assembly. Meanwhile, the fate of the assembly and the constitution remains uncertain as the Supreme Constitutional Court starts reviewing the case against its formation.
According to the papers, the meeting that President Mohamed Morsy held yesterday with political forces to discuss the draft constitution and other issues did not have the uniting effect it had aimed for.
Independent Al-Shorouk newspaper reports that 17 parties and political movements boycotted the meeting and held a press conference rejecting the draft constitution and refusing talks with the president as long as there is a Constituent Assembly that doesn’t fully represent Egyptian society.
Liberal figure Mohamed ElBaradei and former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi were among those who boycotted the meeting.
According to Al-Shorouk, some of who did attend the meeting objected to the invitation of former regime figures and said that the meeting failed to win their support for the draft constitution.
State-run daily Al-Ahram reports that following the meeting, presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said that the administration does not interfere in the work of the Constituent Assembly and that the president is keen to continue meeting with political forces to reach an agreement.
The debates inside the Constituent Assembly are just as heated.
Al-Shorouk reports that Salafi parties within the assembly are lashing out at “secularists” and insisting in a statement that, as a majority, the Islamist forces will pass a constitution that doesn’t represent the identity of the country.
In the statement, Salafi members of the assembly complained that the draft constitution lacks many articles that had been agreed upon in the assembly.
The most pressing demand of the Salafi current is for the constitution to state that the provisions, rather than the principles, of Sharia are the main source of legislation. Using a general term empties Sharia of its essence, they claimed in the statement.
According to Al-Ahram, the Constituent Assembly has made some amendments to the first draft. The state-run paper reports that the Systems of Governance Committee has decided to add a provision stipulating that the president must appoint the prime minister from within the majority party.
While the content of the constitution is under debate, its fate also remains uncertain. On Tuesday, the State Council Administrative Court referred a case challenging the makeup of the constituent assembly to the Supreme Constitutional Court.
The Freedom and Justice Party’s mouthpiece paper, announces that the 45 days necessary for the SCC to issue a ruling are more that enough for the assembly to finalize the constitution and put it to a referendum.
Freedom and Justice reports that the assembly will finalize the draft after Eid vacation and put it to a referendum in November. Legal experts argue that after being passed in a referendum, the constitution will be immune to the court’s ruling.
Independent Al-Tahrir newspaper, however, offers a different scenario. According to the paper, a lawsuit was filed with the SCC against the Constituent Assembly in June, and the court is expected to rule on this case after Eid.
Al-Ahram: Daily, state-run, largest distribution in Egypt
Al-Akhbar: Daily, state-run, second to Al-Ahram in institutional size
Al-Gomhurriya: Daily, state-run
Rose al-Youssef: Daily, state-run
Al-Dostour: Daily, privately owned
Al-Shorouk: Daily, privately owned
Al-Watan: Daily, privately owned
Al-Wafd: Daily, published by the liberal Wafd Party
Youm7: Daily, privately owned
Al-Tahrir: Daily, privately owned
Freedom and Justice: Daily, published by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party
Sawt al-Umma: Weekly, privately owned
Al-Arabi: Weekly, published by the Nasserist Party
Al-Nour: Official paper of the Salafi Nour Party