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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Egypt’s Constitutional Committee to start voting on some articles of the Constitution on Sunday

Egypt’s 50-member Constitutional Committee tasked with the drafting of the amended 2012 Constitution is ready for the second stage of the process with at least 189 articles of the national charter written. The next stage will include studying of the articles and chapters of the amended Constitution and voting of the Committee members before the Constitution’s draft will be ready to be sent to the President for approval.

It was reported earlier that the next stage of the process of rewriting of the Constitution should start at the beginning of this week and it is expected to last till 3rd December. The meetings are planned to be held daily, with three sessions per day in order to fulfill the tasks within the term mentioned in the Presidential decree issued by Adly Mansour after Mohamed Morsy’s ouster and during the presenting of the military proposed roadmap for the political future and transitional period of Egypt.

According to Amr Moussa, chairman of the 50-member Constitutional Committee, the voting process on the draft will start on Sunday, 27 October. The Committee’s members are expected to vote on the so called uncontroversial articles where have been no significant argues and divisions or the consensus was easily found. The subcommittees responsible for the amending and writing of those articles are ready to present these articles for study and voting.

The discussion of the controversial articles will be held later after the Committee will try to find the common solution and to define the debated articles according the democratic and law principles and in the interest of all the layers of Egyptian society unlike it was with the recently suspended 2012 Constitution written by the Islamist dominated Constituent Assembly and actually representing rather the interests of the particular groups of the society than of all the citizens of Egypt.

Amr Moussa, chairman of Egypt's Constitutional Committee 
Among the most controversial articles of the amended Constitution are the articles related to the status and position of the Armed Forces, the articles concerning the military trials and whether the civilians could stand the military trials in some cases. Articles regarding Egypt’s judiciary bodies provoke also great debates among the members of the Constitution drafting Committee. The articles concerning national and religious identity of Egypt and Egyptians, so called “national articles”, including articles regarding language, freedom of religions and Sharia Law are also among the most controversial articles of the national charter.

The voting for those articles is expected to be held later after they will be properly studied by the members of the Committee and the consensus will be reached.

According to the Presidential decree issued by Adly Mansour 50-member Constitutional Committee should finish the drafting process within two months since the appointment of its members and the beginning of its work. Then the Constitution’s draft should be presented to the Interim President. After that the date for the national referendum should be set. If the Constitution will be accepted by Egyptians the next stage of the roadmap should be started to be implemented which is holding the parliamentary and then presidential elections.