Egyptian Islamists and secularists set to clash over who pens constitution

News article, posted 02.25.2012, from , in:
Noha El-Hennawy
Egyptian Islamists and secularists set to clash over who pens constitution (Photo: Al-Masry Al-Youm)

After nearly three months of a fierce parliamentary race, a new conflict may flare up soon between the Islamist majority and the secular minority over the make-up of the body in charge of drafting Egypt's first post-revolution constitution.

With the conclusion of the Shura Council elections, Parliament's two chambers are bound to elect the 100-member constituent assembly that will draft the new constitution. Lawmakers have yet to discuss a bill laying out eligibility conditions for the constitution's potential architects and the assembly's internal regulations.

Meanwhile, different parties have already begun disclosing their views on the matter. While all groups speak adamantly about the necessity to reach a consensus over the composition of the assembly, rifts over three specific issues are emerging.

Disputes already have surfaced over the lawmakers' share of the assembly's 100 seats, how members will be elected and how the assembly's decisions will come into effect.

While the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party seems inclined to allocate half the assembly's seats to MPs, secular parties are set to push for lowering the lawmakers' quota as much as possible. Earlier this week, the liberal Wafd party announced that MPs should hold no more than a quarter of the assembly’s seats.


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