The 50 committee bans religious parties, requests starting from scratch

The process of amending Egypt’s suspended 2012 Constitution is giving way to fundamental changes. The committee of 50, tasked with the amendments, has decided to ban religious parties, a demand of several secular powers, Mohamed al-Salmawy the spokesperson of the committee announced on Wednesday.

Comprising about six main parties, Islamists were able to win the majority in all post January 25 presidential and parliamentary elections through running as political parties, although the use of religious rhetoric and reliance on Islamic context was obvious in their programs.

The move is expected to be a heavy blow for these parties in terms of their organization and how they appeal and communicate with their followers.

Sameh Ashour, the Lawyers Syndicate chairperson and the head of the social dialogue subcommittee in the committee of 50, said a request will be submitted to the presidency to issue a supplementary constitutional declaration. This declaration should stipulate the writing of an entirely new constitution because “public opinion rejects the suspended 2012 Constitution as it was drafted by Islamists”.

Egypt’s interim constitution issued by interim President Adly Mansour gives the presidency the power to legislate and tasked the committee of 50 with amending controversial articles of the Constitution, not rewriting it.

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