The heads of several key parties comprising the Democratic Coalition for Egypt have lent their signatures to a document listing various supra-constitutional principles, which was presented to them for discussion by Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy last Friday. The agreement reached during a meeting between the parties and Selmy on Tuesday.
However, no Islamist parties or movements were present to sign to document, and are thought to be considering their stance on the supra-constituational principles.
The Democratic Coalition for Egypt includes 34 parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, the Wafd Party and the Nasserite Party.
“Selmy invited us to a meeting to discuss the guiding principles and said that they were a step towards the demands for a civil state, which would provide everyone with equal rights,” said Tagammu Party Chairman Refaat al-Saeed. “We discussed the guiding principles, made some observations and then the parties signed their agreement.”
Saeed told Al-Masry Al-Youm that there was no such things as an "Islamic state" but that any country could be ruled in accordance to the religious sentiments of its leaders.
Saeed went on to say that a number of religious parties had announced their agreement on the guiding principles and their willingness to sign the document, on the condition that it was not issued in a constitutional declaration.
Nasserite Party Chairman Sameh Ashour said that the political parties’ agreement is a preliminary step before the document is presented to cabinet on Wednesday.
Wafd Party Vice President Bahaa Abu Shaqa said the guiding principles were a group of general principles that must be included in the new constitution, adding that no one in Egypt would reject such principles.
Translated from the Arabic Edition