Deputy PM retracts, amends constitutional principles

Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy has announced amendments to Articles 9 and 10 of the draft constitutional principles document that pertain to the armed forces, as well as the article related to the constituent committee tasked with writing the constitution after elections.

Selmy said the document would not be submitted to the military council unless it is approved by all political forces.

He explained that the amendments include omitting the word “solely” regarding the right of the armed forces to review their own affairs, and that the National Defense Council would have the right to supervise the budget of the armed forces.

He also said the council would be comprised of the People’s Assembly, Shura Council speakers, and the head of the Central Auditing Agency.

According to the amendments, the constituent committee would include ten female members from women’s and human rights organizations, three representatives of Al-Azhar, another three from the church (rather than one), a member of the Book Authority and another from the Chamber of Tourism.

Consultants and university professors would be reduced from 15 to 12 members each, while the prime minister would no longer nominate ten public figures for membership as was initially put forward in the document.

“We only seek the general interest of the country above any particular party,” Selmy said.

He criticized as “undemocratic” the parties that did not attend meetings to discuss the document, and blasted the media for calling the document a “circumvention of legitimacy.”

“I will take legal action against those attacking me without justification,” he said, adding that the fact a single party rejects the document does not mean the other parties do as well. “No single party can monopolize power.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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