Moussa denies pressure from military over new Egypt constitution

Ahram Online , Wednesday 23 Oct 2013

Constitution committee head Amr Moussa denies rumours army has demanded 'immunity' for army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi

Amr Moussa
Head of the 50 member constitution committee Amr Moussa (Photo: Reuters)

The head of Egypt's constitution panel has denied the 50-member committee has been pressured by the military to grant 'immunity' to army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Amr Moussa said immunity would not be given to any individual and all the rumours about the committee being pressured were nothing but “noise.”  

He said a number of bodies had asked for certain articles to be added to the constitution but this should not be seen as "pressure."

Moussa met with interim President Adly Mansour on Wednesday to discuss controversial articles, including those related to the judiciary, Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported. 

A subcommittee has been formed to resolve outstanding disagreements on military-related articles but it has so far failed to reach agreement.

Hoda El-Sadda, head of the rights and freedoms committee, said committee representatives and the armed forces have failed to agree on articles dealing with military trials for civilians and which authority would garner the right to appoint the defence minister.

In September, committee members proposed removing the article that requires the military's approval when appointing the defence minister.

However, military representatives in the 50-member committee want the constitution to allow the military to name the defence minister during the next two presidential terms.

The thorny issue of military trials for civilians has also stalled the subcommittee's work.

While the Islamist-written 2012 constitution allowed civilians to be tried in military courts for offences committed against the armed forces, some committee members are seeking to limit it or prohibit the practice altogether.

The final draft of the constitution is expected to be finalised on 3 December. Articles upon which the committee fails to reach consensus will be passed by a 75 percent vote.

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