Political parties and some Islamist and liberal figures on Tuesday called for an interim constitution to resolve the issue of the Constituent Assembly, which faces lawsuits demanding its disbandment based on allegations of Islamist domination.
The call came from former presidential candidates Sheikh Hazem Salah Abu Ismail and Hesham al-Bastawisi, and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.
The Muslim Brotherhood and the Freedom and Justice Party, however, opposed the idea and said it is too late, as the assembly is about to finish its work. The FJP called on the people to rally around the current draft of the constitution.
The Egyptian Social Democratic Party said in a statement that meetings to resolve the problem have all failed, while Abu Ismail said that different political forces, including Islamists, reject many articles of the constitution.
“The assembly should take the views of the people and incorporate them in a permanent constitution,” he said. “This may well take a year.”
Bastawisi suggested that the interim constitution comprise 10 to 15 articles and be in effect for four years, during which Parliament would be elected for only one session. “The political forces would again differ, even if a new assembly is formed,” he said.
Younis Makhyoun, a representative of the Salafi Nour Party in the Constituent Assembly, said his party is considering the proposal for an interim constitution.
Former Salafi MP Mohamed al-Kurdy supported Abu Ismail’s suggestion. “This will muzzle the liberals and the secularists who are no more than 0.5 percent of the Egyptian people,” he said. “The rest choose Islamic Sharia.”
Former presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi said the assembly should be dissolved before any national dialogue takes place.
“The head of the Freedom and Justice Party did not respond to my initiative to reunite the political forces on this issue,” he added.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm