The Salafi Al-Nour Party announced it would carry out internal deliberations to determine if it would work as part of the committee of 50 members who will finalise an amended draft to the constitution.
The party recognised disappointment some Egyptians had over the makeup of the assembly, especially Islamists, whom they claimed were only represented by the Al-Nour Party and Kamal Al-Heblawy, a former member of the Muslim Brotherhood who does not belong to a particular party or group. In a statement issued Tuesday night, the party said that the high number of leftists and National Salvation Front members “undermined claims of consensus and representations of all walks of life.”
Al-Nour Party said it would consider suggestions by other Islamist groups that had urged the party to withdraw, saying that it would continue to provide its vision for the constitution, whether or not they withdrew from the assembly.
The influential Islamist party also said it would continue consulting with political parties and institutions regarding a proposal that the constitution be a transitional one until elected institutions have been chosen.
Al-Nour Party said it would continue seeking to communicate with political and societal forces of the importance of articles concerning the country’s identity, saying it did not “want to monopolise defending these articles and hopes that all members of the committee will defend the identity articles,” in its statement.
“The party confirms its eagerness to speed the transitional phase, but does not wish to waste the gains of the 25 January Revolution, which were written down in the 2012 Constitution,” said the party, “particularly those relating to articles concerning identity, freedoms, human rights, social justice, and the balance of powers.”
The party also announced its Supreme Authority would convene to determine the party’s membership in the committee.
Al-Nour Party had nominated three of its members to participate in the assembly and Bassam Al-Zarqa was selected.
The party has cautiously participated in the transition following former president Mohamed Morsi’s removal from power. The Salafi party was reportedly offered positions in the cabinet and governor posts, but refused to nominate any members.
Al-Nour has also repeatedly criticised the manner in which the amending of the constitution has been handled, per the roadmap provided in July’s constitutional declaration.
Last week it announced it would participate in the assembly of 50 to finalise amendments “despite reservations about amending the constitution” and criticised the lack of transparency involved in drafting preliminary amendments by the Committee of Experts, a group of ten judges and academics, who turned their draft to interim President Adly Mansour before the formation of the second assembly, made of political groups, institutions, and various sectors of society.
Al-Nour is the only Islamist party to have a member in the assembly, with groups including the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party refusing to take part in the interim government’s initiative to amend the constitution that was ratified at the end of last year.
The party did not participate in demonstrations against Morsi and did not formally announce support for those who had demonstrated in favour of the former president before or after his removal.