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Constituent Assembly disagreements force private meeting - Daily News Egypt

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Constituent Assembly disagreements force private meeting

Public meeting meanwhile set to discuss procedural methods of voting on final constitution

A general view of Egypt's 50-member panel that has been tasked with drawing up a new constitution during their first meeting in Cairo. (AFP File Photo)
A general view of Egypt’s 50-member panel that has been tasked with drawing up a new constitution during their first meeting in Cairo.
(AFP File Photo)

A private meeting was held in the Constituent Assembly Saturday after 20 articles faced dissent from different parties, with the constitution’s preamble foremost among the contentious topics.

While the assembly announced that the second meeting would hold a broadcasted final vote on the first draft of the constitution Saturday, the assembly’s spokesman Mohammed Salmawy announced that the meeting had been postponed to Tuesday.

According to the spokesman, there is no set procedure to regulate the Constituent Assembly post 3 December, which should “force” members to reach a consensus over debatable articles or risk compromising disapproved articles.

“Certain political factions and civil society have to understand that this is a constitution which would attempt to stabilise a country which has been destabilised for the past three years… debatable articles may be amended in the future by the people through the parliament,” Salmawy said.

The spokesman affirmed that the governance system is set to be semi-presidential with the parliament and government enjoying more power to ensure the application of democracy.

The Tuesday meeting is set to include all 50 members of the Constituent Assembly and their substitutes.

The constitution has six chapters, titled: Governance System, Rights and Freedoms, Rule of Law, The State, Transitional System and Basic Components of Society. The 20 articles facing dissent are not exclusive to one chapter.

Salmawy added that the preamble to the constitution is one of the delaying factors and requires further discussion.

Last Tuesday the assembly agreed to cancel the 50% quota granted to labourers and farmers by late President Gamal Abdel Nasser in the 1960s. That decision sparked the withdrawal of The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) chairman and assembly representative Abdel Fatah Ibrahim. The ETUF has 6 million members and claims to represent 25 million Egyptians.

Reports surfaced over an agreement to create a 20% quota for farmers and laborers, 10% for women and 10% for Copts within the assembly.

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