Egypt Independent

Constituent Assembly: Members who withdrew agreed to contentious articles

Constituent Assembly

members who withdrew from the constitution-drafting panel had recently agreed to the controversial articles that they said were the reasons for their withdrawal, the assembly said.

Abul Ela Mady, the assembly’s undersecretary, said during a press conference at the Shura Council Monday that some members who withdrew had not offered any suggestions about the constitution.

The assembly held the press conference to respond to criticism from leftist and liberal members who had withdrawn Sunday.

Mady stressed that those members had previously accepted the controversial articles, including Article 2 that sets “principles of Islamic Sharia” as the main source of legislation, as well as the additional article interpreting it.

Political groups have been in disputes in the past months over the Sharia article. Liberals objected to Salafi demands to replace the word “principles” with “provisions,” which they think could guarantee the full application of Sharia.

Salafi assembly members earlier this month had claimed a consensus among members to keep the text of the article as it was in the 1971 Constitution, but with a new article interpreting the term “principles.” Liberal members, however, have opposed the article in its new form.

Freedom and Justice Party member Amr Darrag, the assembly’s secretary general, said the panel has been working continuously to finish the constitution, adding that 100 articles have been completed and will be put up for an internal vote next week.

“The members have spent 60,000 hours working on the document and conducting hearing sessions for social groups … over the past five months,” he said.