A 50-member committee tasked with amending the 2012 Constitution has finished its works Monday, with several members praising the outcome of the process which the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist allies deem illegitimate.
The ratification of the new constitution would be a large step toward completing the roadmap put forth by the interim government after the ouster of former Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsy.
Among other more controversial moves, the constitution would ban religious parties from forming as well as enshrine the Egyptian military's role in politics. “The constitution brings back soft power to Egypt. It’s the real power that gave Egypt influence and a role and glory,” said Amr Moussa, the committee chairman, in a news conference on Saturday. “It deals with the dangerous circumstance through which Egypt passes.”
Moussa thanked employees at the Shura Council, Egypt’s upper house of legislation which has hosted committee sessions. “Today, the committee of 50 holds its last meeting, I would thank everyone who assisted this panel to issue the constitution.”
Abdel Galil Mostafa, rapporteur of the wording sub-committee, said :“Writing our constitution, committee members have achieved an elusive dream that has tantalized us over the past two decades.”
Egypt’s Grand Mufti, Sheikh Shawqy Allam, said al-Azhar representatives, taking part in committee activities, had vowed not to make any argument during discussions except after plenty of research. Allam said he praised Egyptians for “overcoming hardships.”
Anba Paula of the Coptic Orthodox Church said the committee “had a genius composition that represented all political, partisan, religious and sectarian affiliations,” adding that despite frequent disputes over articles and wordings, members “did not allow disagreements to have room among them.”
Gaber Nassar, general rapporteur for the panel, said the draft “creates a democratic system where a ruler never practices tyranny, but rather rules under the people’s eyes,” adding that the draft "restored dignity to Egyptians.”
Mohamed Abul Ghar, a committee member and chairman of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, said articles of the new constitution should be enforced on the ground. “Past constitutions contained articles on rights and freedoms, however, politicians were detained and persecuted.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm