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Protests against draft constitution on Tuesday

Women, judges and auditors to protest specific articles in draft constitution at separate demonstrations on Tuesday

Ahram Online, Tuesday 2 Oct 2012
constituent assembly
Egypt's constituent assembly (Photo: Medhat AbdelMaguied)
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Three separate protests against elements of Egypt's draft constitution will be held on Tuesday to coincide with an expected court ruling on the status of the Constituent Assembly.

A protest against the draft constitution's Article 36, which focuses on women's issues, will take place at the Shura Council (where the Constituent Assembly meets) at 6pm. Critics of the article say it could open the door to lowering the marriage age to below 18, legalising female genital mutilation and using Sharia law (Islamic jurisprudence) to limit the rights of women to education and work, among other restrictions.

A second protest, by judges at the State Litigation Authority, will focus on a number of demands. They want to be accorded the same status as judges in other courts and reject "bias" against them in the new constitution. The judges also accuse Constituent Assembly leader Hossam El-Gheriany of having a personal prejudice against them.

Mohamed Taha, head of the State Litigation Judges' Club, stated that improving the status of his members would enable more investigations into corruption within the state apparatus.

The third protest, called for by Auditors Against Corruption (AAC), will protest Article 5 of the draft constitution which deals with the status of the Central Organisation for Auditing (COA). According to the AAC, the article as it stands limits the role of the COA to monitoring the state budget instead of actual auditing, and reduces its current responsibilities, which include monitoring public finances within or without the state system. The auditors will hold a silent protest outside the Shura Council at 3pm.

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