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Constitutional addendum to issue new Egypt constitution possible: Committee head

Mohamed Salmawi says magnitude of changes to 2012 constitution may lead to addendum authorising constitution committee to fully rewrite charter

Ahram Online , Thursday 26 Sep 2013
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Head of Egypt's 50-member constitutional committee Mohamed Salmawi said that a legal team is looking into issuing a constitutional addendum that will allow for the writing of an entirely new constitution, rather than simply amending the country's 2012 constitution.

Salmawi said in a press conference on Thursday that the constitutional draft being drawn up by the constitutional committee – currently tasked with amending the 2012 constitution – differs fundamentally from the previous charter, to the extent that it represents an entirely new document.

He added that the legal committee formed on Tuesday will have final say on the issue.  The legal team is now studying the logistics of amending the 8 July constitutional declaration intended to guide Egypt's transitional period.

Interim President Adly Mansour announced his constitutional declaration in the days following the popularly-backed military ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.

The declaration outlined a transitional roadmap that includes a timeframe for constitutional amendments to the now-suspended 2012 constitution, in addition to parliamentary and presidential elections.

Sameh Ashour, chairman of the National Dialogue sub-committee, told Ahram Online on Wednesday that a majority of the 50-member committee favours issuing an entirely new charter.

Opposing this move is the ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party, who took part in the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly that drafted the 2012 constitution.  If the constitution is rewritten, rather than amended, the Islamist party stands to lose those articles for which it fought during the original drafting. 

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