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Opposition party youth refuse presidential constitution meeting

Young cadres from six political parties slam current shape of Egypt's Constituent Assembly, reject invitation to hold talks with presidential advisors to discuss draft constitution

Ahram Online, Monday 5 Nov 2012
Oppositional party youth refuse presidential constituion meeting
Protest on 2 September in front of the Shura Council (upper house)against the first leaked articles of the constitution that is being written by the Constituent Assembly (Photo: Ayman Hafez)
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Youth representatives from of a number of Egypt's oppositional parties apologised for not attending a meeting about Egypt's draft constitution with President Mohamed Morsi's assistants and Constituent Assembly members, in a joint statement Monday.

Fourteen political parties received invitations from the presidential advisory body to send their youth members to the talks, expected to take place in the next few days. However six parties have rejected the invitation.  

In the statement, the Constitution Party, Socialist Popular Alliance Party, Egyptian Social Democratic Party,  Egyptian Current Party, Free Egyptians Party and the Free Egypt Party youth reiterated their refusal of the current formation of the constitution-drafting body.

They reasserted their call for a new membership which would "guarantee a balanced representation of Egypt's diverse society."

"This will represent the real diversity of [Egypt's] community, a point we have made many times before and which was communicated by party representatives and heads in previous discussion with President Morsi," the youth coalition said in their statement.  "We are waiting for the president to announce his standpoint regarding these suggestions."

The scheduled session, the six parties continued, "does not respect our standpoint and does not offer a serious opportunity for forces [to voice] their opposition to the formulation of the Constituent Assembly."

They concluded the statement by asking that the points they raised be voiced by the party representatives who will attend the presidential meeting.

On Sunday presidential spokesman Yasser Ali announced that President Morsi had reached an agreement with heads of political parties on 90 per cent of  the draft national charter.

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