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Effat El-Sadat calls for new constituent assembly

National Party of Egypt leader calls for constituent assembly to be disbanded; says party looking to merge or form alliance with like-minded rivals

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Sep 2012
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Effat El-Sadat, head of the National Party of Egypt, has called on President Morsi to disband the constituent assembly because it was drawn up by the People's Assembly, the since-dissolved lower house of Egypt's parliament.

"The assembly [tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution] does not represent a consensus among political forces and has faced problems since the beginning," El-Sadat said in a statement on Monday. "[The assembly] is facing lawsuits and complaints that threaten its continuation, so why do we continue to waste our time with it?"

El-Sadat also said the National Party of Egypt was looking into an alliance or merger with other parties that shared its views.

The beleaguered constituent assembly has already suffered a number of withdrawals since 11 June, when the 'Egyptian Bloc' parties – including the Free Egyptians, the Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the leftist Tagammu Party – initiated a walk-out,  followed by the Karama Party, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party and the Democratic Front Party, to allow greater representation for women, young people and Coptic Christians, while also registering their objection to "Islamist monopolisation" of the assembly.

Meanwhile, the assembly still faces the risk of dissolution by court order in September on grounds that it was drawn up by the People's Assembly, the since-dissolved lower house of Egypt's parliament.

The National Party of Egypt was formed after the January 25 Revolution by senior figures in Hosni Mubarak's now-disbanded National Democratic Party.

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