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Political forces reach uneasy agreement on Egypt's constituent assembly
Egypt's parliamentary forces arrive at tentative conclusion on composition of hotly disputed constitution-drafting body in negotiations that ran through night ahead of SCAF's Thursday meeting
Ahram Online, Thursday 7 Jun 2012
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Egyptians protesting against dominance of Brotherhood on the constituent assembly (Photo: Reuters)

Parliamentary political parties are due to meet with the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) 2:30pm Thursday, at the end of a 48-hour grace period granted by the ruling military council for the political forces to determine the formation of the constituent assembly. This follows a heated meeting at the Wafd Party headquarters that lasted until 4am Thursday morning between delegates of Egypt's parliamentary forces, who reached a tentative agreement.

The ruling military council stated Tuesday that in the event that no consensus is reached it would either issue an amended version of March 2011's Constitutional Declaration or revive the 1971 Constitution. 

After hours of wrangling, however, the meeting's delegates agreed that 39 of the 100 seats would be designated to political parties, of which the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) will hold 16; the Salafist Nour Party eight; the liberal Wafd Party five; the Free Egyptians Party two; the Egyptian Social Democratic Party two; and one each for the moderate-Islamist Wasat Party, the Nasserist Karama Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the liberal Reform and Development Party and the Islamist Building and Development Party.

It was also agreed that 15 judges, nine religious figures – five from Al-Azhar and four from the Coptic Church – ten public figures, ten revolutionary youth (women and men), seven members of workers and farmers unions, seven members of professional syndicates, a representative from the police, another of the army and one from the Ministry of Justice.

However, not all those who attended the meeting were satisfied with allocation of the independent seats. Mohamed Abul-Ghar head of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and Egyptian Bloc MPs Emad Gad, and Farid Zahran walked out as they felt that the FJP parliamentarians would take over the assembly. Free Egyptians Party representatives withdrew from the meeting as well.

Nevertheless, Hadara Party MP and head of Culture and Media Committee in the People's Assembly Mohamed Abdel-Moneim El-Sawy said that the withdrawal of some the attendees did not mean that the meeting had failed.

El-Sawy explained that the dispute arose when the FJP members insisted that 55 per cent of both the independent and parliamentary party assembly's seats should go to Islamist representatives.

"The Islamist parties insisted on getting a majority of the seats in the whole assembly," said Emad Gad. "The fact that they [Salafist Nour Party and the Brotherhood's FJP] will be getting alone more than 20 per cent of the seats was not enough for them. They wanted to secure independent seats as well. This is not acceptable. We agreed with the other parties that no political force would dominate the assembly as the coming constitution should be representing the interests of all Egyptians."

The meeting was chaired by El-Sayed El-Badawi, head of the Wafd Party and Fouad Badrawy, the liberal party's secretary-general. Osama Yassin, Ahmed Diab and Farid Ismail attended the meeting as FJP representatives and Sayed Khalifa represented the Nour Party.

Ayman Nour head of Ghad Al-Thawra Party, Wasat Party leader Abul Ela Madi, independent MP Wahid Abdel-Meguid, Ahmed Said head of the Free Egyptians Party, MP Abdel-Moneim El-Sawy of the Islamist Al-Nahda Party, all attended the meeting as well.





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Salman Yunus, Pakistan
24-06-2012 04:03pm
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Revolution?
What kind of monkey business is going on in Egypt.First independently elected parliament dismissed summirarily WoW!
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Free Lady
07-06-2012 08:52pm
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Ikhwan are liability on Egyptians to get rid off.
Ikhwan are group of desperate people who are using religion to rise to power. Their only aim is to control government and resources not to serve religion and people. They preach people don't run after worldly benefits and power but that's what they fight for behind closed doors. Ikhwan Islamic sharia is designed to protect elite class which punish only poor and spare the rich. We have our neighbor example where we see worst corrupt government but religion elite never ever say word against them. This partnership of religious elite and elite family is there for a century without considering miserable condition of people. Egyptians were cheated by Islamic slogan in beginning but now its over and hate of Ikhwan will bring Shafiq as president.
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ahmed
07-06-2012 07:45pm
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god bless the Ikhwan
people forget the islamists won 65% of the seats so them demanding 55% is very rightful .... the so called liberals of egypt dont even know what they want coz they say they are fighting for freedom but it seems the opposite.... plus many of them would rather vote shafiq than mursi .....shame on all of you
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A woman
10-06-2012 02:35pm
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No idea...
After reading what you wrote I just can guess, that you have absolutely no idea about the sense of a constitution...
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Sami
07-06-2012 04:06pm
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Ikhwan are the pride of Egypt's politics
The Ikhwan were chosen by the people, they didn't usurp power. The lleftist raving and ranting about the Ikhwan show a leaning toward totalitarianism, despotism and dictatorship. Imgain the leftists and communists wining 300 or 400 hundred seats in the parliament? They would banish and crush every opposition. The ikhwan are far more decent, far more civilized and far more tolerant that the leftists many of whom will shamelessly vote for Mubarak's candidate.
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