Egyptian constitution will include 39 new articles: Committee
Ahram Online, Wednesday 20 Nov 2013
Drafting committee spokesman says that 39 of the articles being prepared are completely new; answers criticism on removal of workers and farmers quota from draft


Egypt's new constitution will consist of 241 articles, including 51 articles in the section on basic principles, 58 articles in the rights and freedoms section, and 123 articles in the governance system section, according to the official spokesman of the drafting committee.

In a press conference held on Wednesday, Mohamed Salmawy said that the new text would contain 39 completely new articles.

The current constitution was drafted in 2012 under the government of then-president Mohamed Morsi, and passed by national referendum. Many liberals, leftists and members of minority groups complained that the drafting process was dominated by Islamists.

The constitution was suspended in July of this year, following Morsi's ouster, to be re-drafted by a fifty-member committee before it is subject to a referendum.

Commenting on the controversial removal of an article that guaranteed workers and farmers 50 percent of parliamentary seats, Salmawy said that there would be a new transitional article dealing with workers and farmers' parliamentary rights. He said the article had yet to be discussed by the committee.

The removal of the article in the new text has been opposed by several representatives of state-run labour unions and farmers' associations.

The representative of the official trade union in the 50-member committee resigned on Tuesday to protest the removal of the article.

The quota had been in existence in various forms since the 1960s. It has drawn criticism in recent elections on the grounds that the definition of workers and farmers was too broad and allowed abuses.

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