Egypt's constituent assembly Chairman Amr Moussa (onstage, C) attends a news conference in Cairo December 15, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
The head of the constitutional drafting committee, Amr Moussa, predicted at a press conference on Sunday that the draft would be approved by 75 percent of voters in the upcoming referendum, scheduled for mid-January.
Moussa praised the draft, saying that it was a starting pointing for democracy in Egypt, especially the articles related to local councils.
"The local council articles are the first step towards decentralisation. The local councils in the governorates will have more powers and will be elected," said the head of the constitution.
"There are 54,000 seats to be elected in the local councils all over the country; 50 percent will be for women and Christians according to the new constitution," he added.
Regarding the upcoming parliament Moussa said that the draft constitution states that all groups and segments in the society are to be represented, including youth, women and Christians, according to Article 244 of the constitution.
Asked about the current advertising campaign calling on citizens to participate in the upcoming referendum, to be held on 14 and 15 January 2014, Moussa denied any links with the committee. "Concerned citizens or parties could be behind that advertising campaign," he said.
Committee member Abdel Galil Mostafa, speaking at the press conference, stated that the constitution was approved by consensus, adding that all articles were approved by more than 75 percent of committee members
Hossam El-Massah, a representative of people with disabilities who was a member of the committee, said that not less than 12 million disabled people would vote for the constitution, as it recognised disabled rights for the first time.
Kamal El-Helbawy, another committee member, said that there was nothing “against religion” in the constitution against religion, adding that the committee held 10 sessions to discuss the Article 2, which relates to Islamic sharia, with the Salafist Nour Party, to be sure of its validity.