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Thursday, 14 November 2019

Brotherhood increases MP ratio for constituent assembly ahead of Saturday vote

Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party pull backing of 40/60 ratio and vote for 50/50 quota of MP, non-MP members in forthcoming constituent assembly that will draft Egypt's new constitution

Ahram Online, Saturday 17 Mar 2012
Egypt's parliament (Photo: Reuters)
Views: 1090
Views: 1090

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) altered its initial recommendation for the constituent assembly membership criteria in order to "reach consensus" with other parties in Parliament ahead of Saturday's joint session vote, said FJP parliamentarian Farid Ismail on Saturday.

The Islamist party backed a 50/50 ratio of MP to non-MP members in the anticipated 100-member constituent assembly tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution.

Holding the most seats in both houses of Parliament, the FJP's last-minute option was approved by a landslide in Saturday's session.

The constituent assembly is set to play a major role in Egypt's post 18-day uprising transition period, as it is charged with drafting Egypt's new constitution.

Jousting over which MPs should be included in the 50 seats designated to parliamentarians has already begun.

Originally, during the first joint session of Parliament in early March, which discussed possible criteria for constitutional assembly membership, the FJP proposed that 40 MPs sit on the constituent assembly and that the remaining 60 seats be reserved for non-parliamentary members.

In Saturday's joint session, however, where the membership options were to be put to vote, the FJP decided to back an increase the quota designated for parliamentarians.

"Some parties have exaggerated their requests for MP representation in the constituent assembly," Ismail told Al-Ahram's Arabic news portal on Saturday.

Ismail highlighted Islamists as an example: "[Salafist] Al-Nour Party demanded 60 MPs be included, while the Building and Development Party [the political arm of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya] suggested that 70 MPs be included.

"We [the FJP], therefore, saw that a change [to a 50/50 ratio versus a 60/40 one] would benefit the different points of view of our counterparts in Parliament," Ismail continued.

The founder of the liberal Al-Adl party, MP Mustafa El-Naggar, commented on his official Twitter page, with regard to the FJP's change of plan: "The Muslim Brotherhood's retreat from their 60 per cent non-MP proposal is unfortunate. We had already supported that initiative when they first announced it."

Parliament will reconvene to elect the members of the constituent assembly based on the 50/50 ratio on 24 March.

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