Constituent Assembly to meet Saturday amid anti-SCAF protests

MENA, Saturday 23 Jun 2012

Egypt's constitution-drafting body will meet Saturday days before an administrative court ruling could dissolve it

The Constituent Assembly – tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution – is set to hold its second meeting Saturday at a hotel in Cairo to discuss recommendations by members to assign to the assembly secretary-generals, two deputies and a media spokesman.

Ahmed Fahmy, head of the Shura Council and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), had earlier called for a Constituent Assembly meeting at the Shura Council Monday, but the meeting was cancelled.

The meeting comes three days before the Supreme Administrative Court is set to rule on lawsuits filed against the assembly, after the High Constitutional Court ruled last week that a third of the People's Assembly (the lower chamber of the parliament) was elected unconstitutionally.

Pursuant to the verdict, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) ordered the dismantling of the People's Assembly, while the constitutionality of the constituent assembly – elected by the parliament – and that of the Shura Council is currently under investigation on the same grounds.

The Constituent Assembly's meeting is also taking place amid a backdrop of a political showdown between the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's ruling military council.

The SCAF gave itself powers through an addendum to the March 2011 Constitutional Declaration issued last week to appoint members of the Constituent Assembly, given the failure of attempts to reach consensus on the makeup of the assembly.

In April, the first constituent assembly was formally dissolved, following a ruling to this effect by Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court after liberal figures and minorities withdrew in protest against what they described as the Islamist dominance over the assembly. 

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