Wafd Party withdraws from constitution-writing committee

The Wafd Party decided to withdraw from the constituent assembly following a joint meeting Tuesday for the party’s supreme authority and its parliamentary bloc.

Abdel Aziz al-Nahhas, the party’s assistant secretary general, said the decision was based on consensus between the two authorities.

Wafd withdrew because of the assembly makeup, which represents the parliamentary majority of Islamists but doesn’t conform to the principle that constitution writing should be based on consensus among all segments of society, not just the parliamentary majority, said Hossam al-Khouly, another assistant secretary general of the party.

Parliament elected four Wafd Party members to the committee tasked with writing the constitution: party chief Al-Sayed al-Badawy, parliamentary bloc leader Mahmoud al-Saqqa, People’s Assembly Deputy Speaker Mohamed Abdel Alim Dawoud, and party Assistant Secretary General Margaret Azer.

Meanwhile, independent MP Amr al-Shobaky and Ahmed Sayed al-Naggar, an expert at Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, officially announced their withdrawal from the assembly.

Shobaky said on Tuesday that he withdrew because the assembly makeup will lead to the writing of a constitution that doesn’t express all social segments. The constitution is not an award granted to the majority, he added.

The transition period has already led to the loss of a whole year in problems with the constitution and elections that left out reform and construction, Shobaky said, adding that the mistake was made from the beginning when the ruling military council was left without a civilian partner.

Naggar also said the current formation of the assembly turned to a sharply polarized national issue.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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