ElBaradei, Sabbahi to announce constitution initiative

Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi and reform advocate Mohamed ElBaradei will announce the formation of a political front to demand “a constitution that represents all Egyptians,” in a press conference Tuesday.

Different political groups, intellectual figures, and artists will attend the conference at the Journalists Syndicate, according to the Facebook page of the Popular Current, an alliance of secular opposition groups.

The constitution is central to Egypt's transition from military-backed autocracy to democracy following the overthrow of veteran president Hosni Mubarak in February last year.

On Tuesday, Cairo Administrative referred the case demanding dissolving the 100-strong assembly writing the constitution to the Supreme Constitutional Court.

Egypt, since last March, has been trying to draft a new constitution but the process has been deeply divisive, pitting Islamists who have a strong sway over the process against their secular opponents on questions such as the role of Islam in the state and also with rights of religious minorities and women.

Last week, 21 political parties issued a joint statement criticizing the first draft of the constitution and demanding President Mohamed Morsy suspend the Constituent Assembly until the State Council Administrative Court rules on whether or not it should be dissolved.

This month also, a broad coalition of secular forces marched to Tahrir Square demanding the dissolution of the current Constituent Assembly and formation of one that represents the whole spectrum of Egyptian society, as well as the rejection of the draft constitution.

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