Fierce debates plague final drafts of Egypt's constitution

News article, posted 08.21.2012, from Egypt, in:
Fierce debates plague final drafts of Egypt's constitution (Photo: Al Ahram)

Egypt’s Constituent Assembly is in the final weeks of drafting the country’s new constitution, with as much as 70 per cent of the document already drafted, according to assembly member and newly-appointed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mohamed Mahsoub.

"As for the remaining 30 per cent of the new constitution," Mahsoub told Ahram Online, "this is expected to be written in the weeks immediately following Eid Al-Fitr holiday, so that the entire draft of the new constitution could be ready for public discussion by the middle of next September."

After adjourning on the 16 August following a busy few weeks of work, the five committees of the constitution-drafting body are expected to reconvene immediately after the Eid Al-Fitr holiday.

"We do not have any time to waste, we want to put the final draft of Egypt’s constitution to a public discussion and review it as soon as possible," the assembly’s Chairman Hossam El-Ghiriani told its members last week.

Mahsoub affirmed that he believed the constitution would then be put up for public referendum by the middle or end of this October.

The drafting process consists of three phases, Mahsoub explained.

 "In the first stage, the Assembly’s five committees were required to hold hearing sessions after which they began drafting the different chapters of the constitution," Mahsoub said. explaining that some of these committees were forced to branch off into sub-committees to finish the job.

For example, the system of government committee, he said, branched into two subcommittees: the first focusing on local administration and the second on judicial authority.

Mahsoub also disclosed that the freedoms and rights committee was the only group to finish a draft of its chapter.

...

[Excerpt—See accompanying URL for full original text]