El-Erian: Egyptian constitution will be ready in a few weeks

Ahram Online, Tuesday 6 Nov 2012

Leading FJP voice and member of the Constituent Assembly Essam El-Erian promises that the new draft of the constitution will be ready for a referendum soon

Essam El-Erian (Photo: Ahram Online)

Essam El-Erian, vice chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, stated on Tuesday that Egypt's constitution will be ready for a nation-wide referendum in matter of weeks.

"No one can force their views on the people regarding the constitution. If they agree on it then they do so with free will; if they object to it then that's a different path," said El-Erian in a statement to the media.

The leading Brotherhood member has expressed his satisfaction with the current constitution which was drafted by an elected assembly "that includes all views and a diversity of political affiliation, and is not dominated by one particular party."

Liberal and leftist forces have often argued that the Constituent Assembly is dominated by Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and from Salafist groups.

El-Erian further asserted that it is the people who will have the final say on the constitution, and not the elite.

Many statements have been made regarding the date of the finalisation of the constitution and the referendum to approve it; Muslim Brotherhood lawyer Sobhi Saleh earlier claimed that the referendum will be held in September of this year.

The constitution-drafting body still faces the risk of dissolution by court order on the grounds that it was drawn up by the People's Assembly, the since-dissolved lower house of Egypt's parliament. The court case that will decide on the issue is ongoing.

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