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Wednesday, 21 November 2018

UPDATED: Amended draft of Egyptian constitution passed to president

The amended constitution will be discussed by a 50-member assembly representing Egyptian society

Gamal Essam El-Din , Tuesday 20 Aug 2013
Adli Mansour
Egypt's interim President Adli Mansour (Photo: Reuters)
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After a month of deliberations and revisions, a 10-member technical committee entrusted with amending Egypt's 2012 constitution has finished its task.

On Tuesday, the committee handed an amended copy of the constitution to Adly Mansour, Egypt's interim president. The copy will be discussed by a 50-member committee representing major stakeholders in Egyptian society.

As revealed by Ahram Online on Monday, the committee decided to retain Article 2, which states that Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic its official language and Islamic sharia the main source of legislation. The committee, however, decided that Article 219, which gives various interpretations of Islamic sharia, be revoked. This reportedly came upon the request of most political and public institutions.

The article, which was added by the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly in 2012 under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, states that: "the principles of Islamic sharia include its generally-accepted interpretations, its fundamental and jurisprudential rules and its widely considered sources as stated by the schools of Sunna and Gamaa."

The committee also opted to change Article 6 to impose an outright ban on the formation of political parties based on religion or on mixing religion with politics. The article in its amended form states that "it is forbidden to form political parties or perform any activities on the basis of religious foundations or on the basis of discrimination in terms of gender or sex."

The new draft could lead to the dissolution of dozens of newly-formed political Islam parties – including the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party.

The committee's changes will also alter Egypt's electoral system, going back to an individual candidacy system which was in use in Egypt during most of the years of Hosni Mubarak's presidency.

The committee also ruled in favour of eliminating the Shura Council, parliament's upper house, and lifting a ban that prevented leading officials of Mubarak's defunct ruling National Democratic Party from exercising political rights, including running in elections.

Committee member Magdi El-Agati commented that: "Stripping citizens of their political rights must be instituted through judicial order rather than by the national charter."

El-Agati was the judge who ordered the dissolution of the NDP in 2011.

Egypt's interim presidency also said it will announce the make-up of the 50-member committee, representing all layers of society “within days.”

Members of the committee will represent political parties, intellectuals, workers, farmers, syndicates, national councils, Al-Azhar, Egyptian Church, armed forces, and police, in addition to other public figures. Ten youth and women are expected to be among the members.

Most members will be chosen by their respective bodies. The Cabinet will choose the public figures of the committee. The 50-member group is assigned to come up with the final draft of the constitution within 60 days. The final draft is expected to be up for public debate within the same period.

The president is to later put the amended version of the constitution to a national referendum within 30 days from receiving the final draft. It will be effective upon public approval.

The 2012 constitution was suspended as part of the Egyptian armed forces' roadmap for Egypt’s future following Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s ouster on 3 July amid mass protests against him.

Egypt's non-Islamist political forces have repeatedly argued that the suspended constitution was not representative of all layers of society and limiting many freedoms. They blame the majority of the Islamist members of the outgoing constituent assembly for ignoring their recommendations.

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agnabi
22-08-2013 12:09am
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article 2
Why do Egyptians need article 2. What is the position of Copts? Second rate civilians? Aren't they Egyptians? What a lack of sensibility! Adli Mansour, who worked as judge for a long time, admits such draft? If so, I can't trust the judiciary system in Egypt.
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11



Salah
21-08-2013 04:29pm
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what does it means saying "state religion"?
how can a state have a religion? States are not a religious institution. Sadat added this word to the constitution to please the Islamists and he was not good enough. Any modern state provides freedom of religion. you wonder No wonder that Muslims and Islamist have more freedom in the West than in their own "Islamic" states. I am afraid Egypt is not ready for freedom Yet.
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10



Tammy
21-08-2013 12:53am
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article 2
Article 2 should be removed. Egypt is not 100% islamic so article 2 is biased toward one religious sect & not inclusive of all Egyptians. Why should people who are not islamic have to live by the rules of someone elses religion. If the islamists had to live with Coptic religious laws governing their lives I am sure they would not like it or approve of it either. Until there is a separation of religion & state there is always going to be bias against some religions which is not a constitution or a government for ALL EGYPTIANS.
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Jihad
21-08-2013 05:25pm
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Coptic church belongs to Egypt's heritage
While I personally agree on maintaining Article 2, it should remember that the Coptic Christian Church belongs to Egyptian culture and deserves special protection. They have suffered much during this latest revolution, they deserve to be considered.
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Hussein
21-08-2013 12:13am
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NO to the new fascism in Egypt
Well, it is OK for the coup makers to have a Marxist party, but it is a crime to have an Islamic party in a country with 95% Muslim population. And you call this democracy? Egyptians must reject the new Fascism.
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Hani
21-08-2013 12:05am
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Who elected those who prepared the new constitution?
Why is this site refusing to post criticisms of the military regime. Has press fredom been completely decapitated. Also who elected those who prepared the new constitution? The Coptic Church?
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Laila El Kkhatib
20-08-2013 11:52pm
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A question,and a comment!
The individual presidential candidacy?Meaning only one candidate?If just after a revolution,you have Mubarak followers joining politics,then what's the use of having undergone sucha revolution?I think both members of the Mubarak regime,and the Morsy regime should not participate in politics for at least 8 years.
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6



JOHN2379
20-08-2013 11:51pm
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THUGS CAN CHANGE ANYTHING
The un-elected, defeated and military dictators can change any thing, can name anything and can impose anything, and get away from any sins and penalty, that is today's Egypt.
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Taz
20-08-2013 11:51pm
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Once again, article 2 is included
I wish that religion is left to the individuals and not as the national identity. Article 2 creates more problems.
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IwantstrongEgypt
20-08-2013 11:38pm
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Strong Egypt Must become a civil state under God!
Strong Egypt Must become a civil state under God! That Means the State is not Godless while it shows all its citizens are equal and have same law that they must obey. The saying of Islam is the religion of state is/was trouble for Christians for the last 30 years, it put them under attack and discrimination. Islamist abused the article. Please change it for better Egypt!
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3



Milad A Milad
20-08-2013 10:52pm
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Going Back to Individual Candidacy System
This is really worrisome if it means that a single candidate will be voted for Yes or No. Hope not. For Egypt we pray Milad Milad
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