Egypt to form constituent assembly on 3 March: Tantawi

Ahram Online , Sunday 26 Feb 2012

Head of ruling military council orders 3 March parliamentary session to elect 100-member body charged with writing fresh constitution

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Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi (Photo: Ahram)

The People's Assembly and Shura Council will hold a joint session on 3 March to select members of the constituent assembly tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution.

De facto leader Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi, the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, announced the move on Sunday.

The 100-member assembly is set to be selected despite the legal controversy over recent parliamentary elections.The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) on Monday referred several articles of the parliamentary law to the State Council, the legal body tasked with deciding disputes related to the exercise of state power, which sent the matter to the High Constitutional Court.

The High Constitutional Court will decide if it was constitutional that members of political parties stood for election in the one third of seats reserved for individual candidates in the People's Assembly election which concluded in January.

If deemed unconstitutional, part of the election may need to be re-run.

The controversy has led several political figures, including reform campaigner Mohamed ElBaradei, to call for the formation of the assembly to be postponed until the dispute is resolved.

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