Journalists angered at constitution committee press conference

In a new conflict between the 50-member committee tasked with drafting the constitution and the media, journalists attending a press conference held by the committee’s head Amr Moussa were angered when he left without answering their questions, the state-run Egynews portal reported. 

At the press conference, Moussa and the committee’s head of the societal dialogue Sameh Ashour dismissed what they described as false media coverage about backroom deals in the committee, the state-run Al-Ahram portal reported. 

Moussa said that conflicts exist among committee members and that’s a normal thing, but there are no conspiracies or power centers. Ashour said that talk about backroom deals is aimed at tarnishing the committee’s reputation, according to Al-Ahram.

Both left the press conference after giving their speech, according to Egynews, which caused fury among reporters who had follow-up questions. Many decided to leave the room despite calls by the committee spokesperson Mohamed Salmawy to stay and address questions to him. 

Meanwhile, in a press conference on Monday, Salmawy said that half the articles of the constitutional draft have already been agreed upon by the committee, and they include stipulations on the president’s roles and those of the prime minister, the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. 

According to Salmawy, the committee decided to have a mixed ruling system whereby the president and prime minister share responsibilities at the helm of the executive branch. The committee also agreed that the prime minister will be appointed by the president following the nomination of the party with a parliamentary majority. If the nomination doesn’t garner the acceptance of most parliamentary members, the president will appoint a prime minister, and if that is not approved by parliament, the latter will be dissolved. 

Emergency Law, according to the committee and as announced by Salmawy, can only be declared by the president after consultation with the cabinet, and it has to garner the majority’s acceptance in parliament. A cap of three months was put on Emergency Law declarations. 

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