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Egypt's constitution committee is balanced: April 6

Co-founder of April 6 youth movement Ahmed Maher says group will work to ensure that new constitution enshrines principles of Egyptian revolution

Ahram Online, Tuesday 3 Sep 2013
Ahmed Maher
Co-founder of April 6 Youth Movement Ahmed Maher (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The 50-member committee appointed by the presidency to amend Egypt's constitution last week is largely balanced, according to April 6 youth movement co-founder Ahmed Maher.
 
In comments reported by Al-Ahram's Arabic news website, Maher expressed satisfaction with the number of youth representatives on the committee, but emphasised that the most import thing is the "final product."
 
April 6 will "deal objectively" with the committee, Maher said, and the objectives and principles of the revolution will be paramount to this process. 
 
"If the draft is in accordance with the values of freedom, democracy, separation of powers, human dignity, social justice, transparency, accountability and equality among citizens, the movement will be satisfied,” Maher said. “However, if the new constitution is in conflict with these values, we will object to it like we did the constitution of 2012," he added.
 
Maher said April 6 will send the committee a list of proposed amendments, as they did with the 2012 constitution-drafting committee.
 
The 50-member committee has been criticised by some for not proportionally representing various political shades in Egyptian society especially Islamists. The presidency named only two Islamists to amend the charter: one belonging to the hardline Salafist Nour Party, the other a former Muslim Brotherhood leader, who is now harshly critical of the group he left last year.
 
April 6 has come under attack in Egyptian media in recent weeks for alleged ties with the Muslim Brotherhood. The movement is seen by some media representatives as members of the Muslim Brotherhood's "fifth column", despite its active participation in protests against desposed former president Mohamed Morsi. 
 
Egypt's Attorney General instructed supreme state security prosecution to investigate charges against Ahmed Maher, on Wednesday. The accusations include conspiring against his homeland and acquiring illegal financial support from abroad.
 
While members of the Rebel campaign, which organised for the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, have been chosen to represent Egyptian youth in the constitution-drafting committee, April 6, a group which spear-headed the 25 January revolution against Mubarak, was not asked to participate in the process. 
 
The composition of the 50-member committee was announced on Sunday by the presidency. It will amend controversial articles in the temporarily suspended 2012 constitution as part of a road map declared by the interim-government on 3 July, when Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was deposed following mass protests. 
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