Trade Union Federation rejects new Constituent Assembly formation

The Egyptian Trade Union Federation has announced its rejection of the recently approved criteria for the Constituent Assembly that would draft the new constitution.

In a statement released Monday, the ETUF expressed anger at what it called Islamist domination over the formation of the assembly.

Islamists, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi Nour Party, gained the right to form 50 percent of the assembly according to an agreement approved by some political forces on Thursday.

“The number of members of any trade union outnumbers those who belong to the political parties who have members in the assembly. Therefore, it is not right for more than 22 unions to have only seven members. Seven syndicates have been selected to have representation, including five that are headed by Muslim Brotherhood members,” the ETUF statement said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is heavily represented on the boards of the Engineers, Teachers, Doctors and Pharmacists Syndicates and provided support to the Journalist Syndicate in the last election.

“The Constituent Assembly does not represent the whole of Egyptian society but rather only one faction that will form the majority of the assembly in order to control the constitution-drafting process,” the statement added.

The ETUF said that its only option is to resort to the judiciary as long as Islamist domination over Egyptian political life continues.

A court ruling had previously disbanded the original Constituent Assembly, saying it was not representative of Egyptian society because it was dominated by Islamists, which had caused secular members to withdraw in protest. After recent negotiations between a number of parties, political forces and the ruling military council agreed that Islamists would be granted 50 percent of the assembly’s seats.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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