Committees to tweak constitution amid disputes

Constituent Assembly Chairman Hossam al-Gheriany is shelving the first draft of the constitution released to the public two weeks ago for reconsideration by assembly committees.

The assembly agreed to remove text from the draft that states "the defense minister is appointed from within the Armed Forces’ officers," in an attempt to resolve the dispute between the assembly and its Drafting Committee, assembly spokesperson Mohamed al-Sawy said Wednesday.

Sawy told Al-Masry Al-Youm that Gheriany is trying to resolve disputes surrounding the initial draft and is asking each committee to reconsider the final form of its chapter as edited by the Drafting Committee.

Gheriany is the assembly can resume work after Eid al-Adha in a calmer atmosphere, Sawy said.

According to Sawy, Article 198, which states, "The Defense Minister is the commander in chief of the armed forces and is appointed from within its officers," was added by the Drafting Committee to the chapter on security and defense. Assembly members agreed to abolish the article, leaving open the possibility that a civilian minister could hold the office in the future.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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