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Amending 2012 constitution 'not possible': Committee spokesman

Committee of 50 refuses to recognise 'medieval' suspended constitution, will use it only as reference

Ahram Online, Sunday 8 Sep 2013
Salmawy
50-member committee spokesman Mohamed Salmawy
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Mohamed Salmawy, spokesman for the 50-member committee tasked with amending the 2012 constitution, said on Sunday that amending the suspended charter is "not possible," calling it "the most backward constitution in Egypt's history."

"Amending the constitution is not possible, as constitutions are not merely a set of articles but rather a soul and a philosophy," Salmawy stated.

Salmawy, in a session convened at the Supreme Council for Culture, added that Egypt is undergoing a new and complex phase that cannot be ruled by a constitution that "sends [Egyptians] back to medieval times."

The Committee of 50, according to Salmawy, does not recognise the suspended constitution – which was drafted and passed during former president Mohamed Morsi's one year in power – and will use it only as a reference.

The committee will consider the proposed amendments drawn-up by the 10-member technical committee responsible for providing the first revision of the 2012 constitution. However, the technical committee's proposals are not binding, and the final decision lies with the Committee of 50.

The presidential decree calling for the 2012 constitution's amendment, issued by interim President Adly Mansour on 8 July, did not state that the Committee of 50 must amend the original constitution, but rather that it should present a final draft of the charter.

Salmawy also stated that the 2012 constitution's controversial Article 219 – which strictly defines Islamic Sharia law – was not included in the revised proposal proffered by the technical committee.

Article 219, added by the Islamist-dominated constituent assembly during the 2012 drafting of Egypt's new constitution, states that "the principles of Islamic Sharia include its commonly accepted interpretations, its fundamental and jurisprudential rules, and its widely considered sources as stated by the schools of Sunna and Gamaa."

Non-Islamist critics charge that Article 219 opens to door to discrimination against non-Sunni minorities and others.

The liberal-leaning former presidential candidate Amr Moussa was elected early Sunday as chairman to the Committee of 50, alongside three deputies: Mona Zulficar, deputy head of the National Council for Human Rights; Kamal El-Helbawy, prominent Islamist thinker and ex-leading Muslim Brotherhood member; and world renowned heart surgeon Magdi Yacoub.

The constitution's final draft must be completed within 60 days of the committee's first session, which was convened on Sunday at the Shura Council building in downtown Cairo. 

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sami fouad
14-09-2013 05:16pm
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sharia law
the sharia law gives plevelages to muslim mals only the rest of the soiacity aresubservent to them and the rules of punishment are barbaric and condemend by inter national trabunes
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4



J Rahman
11-09-2013 04:04pm
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Constitution
It's interesting some people think Egypt will become country for all because they have a new Committee to write the constitution. Firstly the military-led Government built in a majority with establishment figures who will no doubt prevent full civilian oversight of military budget which makes up upto 40% of the economy. When the elite run a deep state within a state with their own budget and privileged positions - how could one argue Egypt will be for all Egyptian? For us in the West the wqay the constitution was written by the privious regime and the current is a farce and it confirms that Egypt lacks democratic maturity.
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3



Tammy
10-09-2013 01:01am
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finally!
Finally there are some intelligent people taking the job at hand and doing it the right way!! Hopefully Egypt will now become a country for ALL EGYPTIANS REGARDLESS OF THEIR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS!!
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Enoch Luton
09-09-2013 07:59am
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Hum du lilah
Thank God some sanity has come to move Egypt forward out of that period of regression!
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Farid
08-09-2013 10:22pm
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Country's Soul
For The People, By The People, To The People
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