Wasat Party denies facing US pressure for Constituent Assembly withdrawal

The moderate Islamist Wasat Party denied Sunday that it faced US pressure to withdraw from the Constituent Assembly, after the Constitution it drafted was approved last month in a popular referendum.

Private satellite channel ONtv reported that the party’s spokesperson, Amr Farouq, had confirmed a report published by independent newspaper Al-Mesryoon claiming that the US Embassy pressured the party to withdraw.

Farouq had said that he had personally received a call from an embassy official ​​in which the official almost threatened him to withdraw.

Farouq had said he admitted to the matter during his meeting with the Wasat Party’s media trustees, but that the incident was concealed until it was published by a journalist who had attending a meeting between political figures and party head Abul Ela Mady.

The party’s media secretariat then issued a statement stressing that Farouq’s remarks were published by mistake, and denied facing US pressure.

The Constitution, drafted by a mostly Islamist assembly, received approval from about 64 percent of voters amid objections from secularists headed by the National Salvation Front, which demanded that the constitution be re-drafted.

Liberals and church representatives had withdrawn from the constitution-writing assembly in protest to several of the draft articles.

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