Egypt presidential hopefuls to announce unified position on interim constitution

Ahram Online, Monday 21 May 2012

Abul-Fotouh, Ali, El-Hariri and El-Bestawisi to react to the ruling military council's move to issue interim constitution on eve of Egypt's presidential elections at a press conference on Monday

Representatives of independent Islamist, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh, socialist Abul Ezz El-Hariri and the reformist judge Hisham El-Bastawisi are expected to join leftist Khaled Ali in a press conference on Monday in Ali’s campaign headquarters. The presidential candidates are expected to announce a unified position on the constitutional interim which is expected to be released in a few days.

The ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) announced that they would issue an interim constitution to be annexed to last year’s constitutional declaration. This decision came after parliament had failed to form a constituent assembly mandated with writing Egypt's first post-revolution national charter.

On the eve of presidential elections the interim constitution is expected to lay out the incoming president’s powers. It will reportedly grant Egypt's newly elected president the right to dissolve parliament and appoint the prosecutor-general, along with Al-Azhar's grand imam and grand Mufti.

In addition, the interim constitution will reportedly grant the SCAF absolute powers to discuss and review the military's internal affairs, including its budget, armaments and military law. The budget can be discussed by parliament's defence and national security committee, according to the provisional constitution, but only in closed-door meetings.

Political parties represented in parliament will also meet today at Al-Wafd liberal party headquarters to discuss the issue after the meeting was postponed a number of times.

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