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80 constitutional articles revised: Amendments committee

Egypt's 10-member constitutional experts committee say amendment process underway after submission of proposals from various state and civil actors

Osman El Sharnoubi, Wednesday 31 Jul 2013
Egypt
Egypt's 'expert committee' meets, (Photo: Ahram).
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The committee commissioned by Egypt's interim President Adly Mansour to amend the frozen 2012 constitution is looking at proposals submitted by various institutions, groups and individuals as part of the military-sponsored transitional roadmap, reported Al-Ahram daily print edition.

After former president Mohamed Morsi was deposed on 3 July by the military following mass protests against him, the army agreed on a roadmap with Morsi's opposition, which included amendments to the constitution written by the Muslim Brotherhood – from which Morsi hails – and their allies, as well as parliamentary and presidential elections to follow.

All articles in the constitution may be subject to changes, Judge Ali Awad Saleh, the presidency's constitutional advisor and head of the constitutional amendments committee (experts committee), said in a press conference on Tuesday.

He added that there is no general plan for which particular articles will be amended.

Over 80 articles were revised so far and there is a possibility of making further alterations to them, said Awad.

The current committee is comprised of 10 legal experts, consisting of two High Constitutional Court members, two judges, two members of State Council, and four constitutional law professors from Egyptian universities.

The committee is tasked with making the amendments in a period of one month and then passing them on to another committee of 50 members representing various components of Egyptian society for further review.

Suggestions for amendments have been submitted by political parties, ministries, labour unions, professional syndicates, human rights and civil society groups and individuals.

Egypt's 'Rebel' (Tamarod), the movement that launched the viral campaign behind the mass protests that led to Morsi's ouster, hopes to overhaul the national charter.

In a statement to Ahram Online, Rebel leader Mahmoud Badr said that aside from controversial articles in the constitution, other articles were written poorly due to the Brotherhood's "lack of experience," which he believes requires a rewriting of the whole document.

Rebels are in the process of launching a new campaign titled "Write your own constitution." The movement intends to take to the streets, again, to gather Egyptians' suggestions in the same way they gathered anti-Morsi petitions calling for the 30 June protests.

The current constitution does not reflect the January 25 Revolution with its demands of freedom and social justice, Badr said.

The Constituent Assembly that wrote the 2012 constitution in November was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies after mass walkouts by the opposition and other factions representing sectors of Egypt's society, who blamed the Brotherhood of attempting to monopolise the drafting process.

Mass protests came out against the draft charter in December and clashes between supporters of Morsi and his opponents erupted. The opposition still took part in a two-round constitutional referendum, which approved the charter by a rate of almost 64 percent. 

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