Much ado about Egypt's supra-constitutional amendments

Ahram Online , Monday 18 Jul 2011

With the Muslim Brotherhood shunning talk of supra-constitutional principles, other groups and coalitions are producing manifestos they hope will be incorporated into the articles that will underpin Egypt's next constitution

polling station
Egyptian voters casts their votes in a polling station in Cairo, Egypt (Photo: AP)

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party announced today that the Democratic Coalition for Egypt is the only framework through which the party works to reach a national consensus on the future of the country. "The party did not and will not participate in any other meetings it has been invited to concerning the so-called 'constitutional manifestos'", the party said in a statement published Monday.

The party also stressed that the coalition has agreed in its meeting on 13 July that the elected founding committee that will be formed to write the new constitution "should include representatives of all colours of the political and social spectrum in Egypt, and not only the party or political force that will get the majority of seats in the next parliament."  

The democratic coalition comprises 28 Egyptian political parties including, Justice and freedom party, Wafd, Democratic Front party, Civilization party and Al Ghad party.

This statement comes less than 24 hours before another meeting takes place. The meeting, that has been called for by the National Council, comes as "an initiative to achieve general consensus between the Egyptian revolutionary political and social forces" on the new supra-constitutional amendments.

"Around seven manifestos have been submitted by different political groups and the aim right now is to unite all these in one document that would act as a guide line to any committee writing the next constitution," says Mamdouh Hamza, spokesman of the National Council. Hamza explained that the meeting will also place the criteria upon which the committee will be formed and this will be handed to the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces to be included in the new constitutional declaration it is expected to issue.

In a statement made by military council member Mohsen El-Fangary on 7 July, Egypt's interim rulers said that the a new constitutional declaration will be issued setting the criteria through which the constitution will be written.  

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