Egypt Independent

Amr Moussa against civilian council for transitional period

Outgoing Arab League secretary general and likely presidential candidate Amr Moussa said on Monday that he rejects the idea of forming a presidential council to rule Egypt during the transitional period.

Liberal forces have been calling for the formation of a civilian presidential council to rule the country, including several civilians and a representative from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). The civilian council would supervise the formation of a drafting committee to formulate a new constitution prior to the elections.

At a press conference at the Arab League on Monday, Moussa said: “I'm not in favor of the election of a presidential council, because this would extend the transitional phase.”

He went on to say a presidential council would not be useful and that the most important step was to prepare for the post-transitional period.

Moussa also announced his rejection of any delays to elections, saying, "It is difficult to write the Egyptian constitution at this time."

He said, "I hope the first annual celebration of the Egyptian Revolution on January 25 will be on the same day as the presidential elections."

Moussa added that the writing of a new constitution requires an elected drafting committee, and that this would be one of the most important priorities of the president-elect, who would call for a referendum on the new constitution.

However, he said, "I do not mind if certain articles concerning the rights of Egyptians are written now."

Moussa also said he was ready for debates with the other presidential candidates, “but when the time comes for this during the coming period.”

In March, Moussa criticized the SCAF’s timetable for running the country during the transitional phase. In May, he called for the postponement of the parliamentary elections and for the election of a drafting committee to formulate a new constitution.

He also expressed a preference for the holding of presidential elections prior to the parliamentary elections. Moussa said he believed the September date chosen for parliamentary elections was too soon.

Translated from the Arabic Edition