Abul-Fotouh: No rush to form constituent assembly

Zeinab El Gundy, Tuesday 27 Mar 2012

Prominent Islamist presidential contender says constituent assembly, tasked with drafting new constitution, should represent all segments of Egyptian society

Presidential candidate Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh issued a statement late Monday on the ongoing controversy over the newly-formed constituent assembly, tasked with drafting Egypt's post-revolution constitution, after the resignation of several assembly members due to objections over Islamist domination of the body.

Abul-Fotouh said there was no rush to elect the members of the constituent assembly, especially that the constitutional declaration issued by the ruling military council in March of last year gave a six-month period in which to choose the standards of the constituent assembly and to elect its members.

He added that there was a need to open a “social dialogue” about the standards for choosing assembly members.

The former leading Muslim Brotherhood member expressed his sorrow that several members of the constituent assembly had resigned within the past 48 hours.

"The withdrawal of some parties and public figures is a huge loss. We feel sorry because it is important that everybody participates in drafting the constitution, which is an event that does not happen very often in Egyptian history," Abul-Fotouh said, asking parties and public figures to reconsider their decision.

The presidential candidate also stated that parliament should reconsider the standards for choosing members of the constituent assembly in order to ensure that all segments of Egyptian society are represented.

Abul-Fotouh added that the standards for choosing assembly members should depend upon their expertise and efficiency.

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