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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Strong Egypt Party refuses to join Egypt Constitutional Committee

Strong Egypt Party, founded by former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, says current political climate is not stable enough to amend constitution

Ahram Online , Monday 26 Aug 2013
Strong Egypt Party
Founder of moderate Islamist Strong Egypt Party Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh (Photo: Ahram Online)
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On Monday, the Strong Egypt Party refused to participate in the 50-member committee, tasked with discussing amendments to the country's temporarily suspended 2012 constitution.
 
In a statement released on its official Facebook account, the party stated that they will not participate in the committee as, "constitutions should be written in a politically and socially stable atmosphere in order to reach the minimum level of compatibility."
 
The amendments were initially made by a 10-member committee. They are due to be discussed by the 50-member committee, who will either approve the revised articles or further amend them.
 
According to the Strong Egypt Party, founded by former Islamist presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, the current political climate is "filled with hatred, revenge and a clear social divide after Egyptian blood has been shed."
 
The party also stated that the 10-member committee worked in "secrecy and with a lack of transparency," so no one knows who advised them, or why they chose to amend some articles and keep others unchanged.
 
The 10-member committee consists of two members of the High Constitutional Court, two judges, two members of the State Council, and four constitutional law professors from Egyptian universities, in accordance with the 8 July constitutional declaration.
 
The Strong Egypt Party further complained that the 50-committee has only six members from political parties out of a total of 50 members, when committees delegated to write constitutions should contain more politicians, who, along with civil society actors should write the constitution to "preserve the balance of society."
 
The standards by which the members of the 50-committee were chosen differentiated between Islamist political parties and civil (non-Islamist) parties, Strong Egypt said, stating that it is this same differentiation that has "harmed Egypt in the past two years."
 
"We are repeating the same mistakes of the 2012 constitution," the statement read.
 
The criteria, outlined by interim President Adly Mansour for representation within the 50-member committee, stated that four main political currents should be represented; Islamist and liberal parties should each choose two representatives, whilst leftist and nationalist parties should each choose one.
 
The Strong Egypt Party ended their statement by saying that the best solution to overcome current tensions in Egypt, is to make the constitution temporary, valid for only five years.
 
Meanwhile, Egypt’s Salafist Nour Party announced on Sunday that it will participate in the 50-member committee.
 
The 2012 constitution was suspended as part of the army-backed roadmap for Egypt’s future, which saw former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi ousted on 3 July following mass protests across the nation against him.
 
Egypt's non-Islamist political forces have repeatedly argued the suspended constitution was not representative of all layers of society, saying it limits many freedoms. They primarily blamed the majority Islamist members of the outgoing constituent assembly for ignoring their recommendations.
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