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‘Identity articles’ a continued source of tension in Constituent Assembly - Daily News Egypt

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‘Identity articles’ a continued source of tension in Constituent Assembly

Al-Nour party still keen on keeping “identity articles” in new constitutional draft; Constituent Assembly to vote on freedom articles by the end of the week

All parties are exerting efforts to reach common ground over the articles which discuss the state’s “identity” in the constitution, according to Salah Abdel Maaboud, a senior member of Al-Nour Party.

Abdel Maaboud released a statement on Monday regarding the disputed articles. He is a backup representative in the Constituent Assembly tasked with amending the suspended 2012 constitution.

“The disagreement over the identity articles is not yet over,” Abdel Maaboud said.

Abdel Maaboud’s statement follows a meeting held on Monday between Constituent Assembly Chairman Amr Moussa, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawky Allam and Al-Nour Party’s chairman Younes Makhioun to discuss the articles addressing “identity”. Assembly spokesman Mohamed Salmawy commented on the meeting in a press conference on Monday saying that Al-Nour Party has a position on the “identity articles” which is different from that of most assembly members.

Abdel Maaboud earlier said the party has three suggestions to ending the controversy over the articles. He nevertheless added that Monday’s meeting was fruitless.

The mentioned identity articles include Article 2, which states that the principles of Islamic Sharia are the main source of legislation, and Article 219, which details what is meant by the principles of Islamic Sharia. Article 219 was removed from the amended version of the 2012 constitution drafted by the 10-member legal experts’ committee and referred to the Constituent Assembly for further amending.

During Monday’s press conference, Salmawy said the Constituent Assembly had not discussed Article 219 since it was not included in the draft the assembly is working on.

Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, Al-Nour Party’s representative in the Constituent Assembly, said that the party is constantly coordinating with all parties to reach a suitable alternative to article 219, reported state-run Al-Ahram.

The Constituent Assembly reviewed over 10 articles in the rights and freedoms sections this week. Salmawy said that the assembly will vote on articles regarding freedom of the press and publishing, cancelling censorship and banning imprisonment in press crimes on Thursday, reported state-run news agency MENA.

The assembly is expected to be done with the constitution in December.

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