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New constitution reflects Egypt's two revolutions: Committee spokesperson

Mohamed Salmawi says 50-member constitution committee aims to separate religion and politics, won't grant immunity to any public official

Ahram Online, Wednesday 6 Nov 2013
selmawi
Constituent Assembly spokesman Mohamed Salmawi. (Photo: Reuters)
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Egypt's new constitution will reflect the goals of the January 25 and June 30 revolutions, a spokesperson for the constitution committee has said.

The committee has introduced 18 original articles granting public freedoms that were not present in previous constitutions, Mohamed Salmawi told the privately-owned Al-Hayat channel on Tuesday night. 

He said the word "civil" had been omitted from the article defining the system of government, but the concept was clearly pronounced throughout the document.

The committee aimed to "separate religion and politics," he added; a controversial issue for the Salafist representative who opposed the prohibition of political parties based on religion.

Salmawi said the constitution would include "transitional" articles allowing the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to choose the defence minister, but this does not mean the holder of the post will have immunity from prosecution.

Commenting on the first session of Mohamed Morsi's trial on Monday, Selmawi said the deposed president was "oblivious" and unaware of the "millions that protested against him for change."

On Monday, Morsi made his first public appearance since the army deposed him on 3 July amid mass demonstrations against his rule. During the court session he repeated several times that he was still the country's legitimate leader.

Egypt's 2012 constitution was temporarily suspended pending amendments following Morsi's ouster.

The final draft is expected to be ready by 3 December, when it will be referred to interim President Adly Mansour, then put to a national referendum.

Mohamed Morsi is on trial, alongside 14 other senior Islamist figures, for inciting the killing of protesters during clashes at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in December 2012.

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