No end to committee of 50’s disagreements

The committee of 50 drafting Egypt’s new constitution is still in a state of disagreement. The Salafi Nour Party denied yesterday that it had said it would not quit the committee under any circumstances.

Salah Abdel Maaboud, the party’s reserve member in the committee, told the private channel Al Hayat last night that the party will wait until the voting process on the articles end and then declare its position.

“We’ll wait and see if our recommendations will be considered or not, as the Supreme Constitutional Court has not come up with a definition for the principals of Islamic Sharia,” he said.

Abdel Maaboud said party members agreed they would tolerate the elimination of Article 219 from the now suspended 2012 Constitution, as long as the clause that the principles of Islam are the source of legislation is returned to Article 2.

Article 219 gave a deeper definition of the principles of Sharia, stating that it “includes general evidence, foundational rules, rules of jurisprudence, and credible sources accepted in Sunni doctrine and by the larger community.”

Liberal political forces demanded the removal of that article, arguing that it could spark more controversy and tensions with the Islamic current.

Meanwhile, Amr al-Shobaki, head of the subcommittee for system of governance, said that small groups within the committee had failed to sort out the controversial articles in the draft, in particular the status of the Shura Council, or upper house of parliament.

“The main tendency within the committee is toward abolishing the Shura Council, as it still has no still specialized role and the proposals around defining its role are all about giving it the right to legislate articles relevant to health and education,” Shobaki said.

Since its establishment by late President Anwar El Sadat, the council has only been given the role of monitoring the activity of the Supreme Press Council, which is responsible for dealing with the state owned press, and the Human Rights Council.

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