Ruling determining fate of Constituent Assembly postponed until October

Ahram Online , Saturday 8 Sep 2012

Cairo Administrative Court sets 2 October as date to rule on fate of assembly tasked with drafting Egypt's new constitution

The Cairo Administrative Court on Saturday postponed until 2 October its decision on the constitutionality of Egypt's Constituent Assembly, the body tasked with writing a permanent constitution. 

Lawyers had requested a change of judge in June, arguing that the judging panel was biased as it was the same one that ruled the lower house of parliament unconstitutional. The Constituent Assembly's 100 members were chosen by the now-dissolved parliament's lower house as well as parliament's upper house whose constitutionality is now also in question. 

Approximately 23 lawsuits have been filed against the assembly, which has been criticised for being largely Islamist-dominated and lacking equal representation for liberals, leftists, Copts, women and other minorities.

Despite calls for the assembly to cease its work and disband, the assembly has continued drafting the new constitution and according to reports has made significant progress on the completition of a draft.

Conflicting statements have been issued recently regarding the date upon which the draft constitution will be finalised. In August, leading Muslim Brotherhood member Sobhi Saleh said the draft would be ready by late September, while Constituent Assembly spokesman Wahid Abdel-Meguid said the same day that the document would require an additional three months of work.

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