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Non-Islamist members withdraw from Constitutional Assembly

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Members refuse to extend the mandate of the assembly

By Ibrahim Al-Masry

The withdrawal comes as a reaction to the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsy on Thursday, making his decrees above judicial review. (DNE / Hassan Ibrahim)

The withdrawal comes as a reaction to the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsy on Thursday, making his decrees above judicial review. (DNE / Hassan Ibrahim)

The crisis within the Constituent Assembly has escalated with the withdrawal of all non-Islamist representatives.

The withdrawal comes as a reaction to the constitutional declaration issued by President Mohamed Morsy on Thursday, making his decrees above judicial review.

Mohamed Mohy Al-Din, a Constituent Assembly member, stated the declaration led to the aggravation of the crisis between Islamist and non-Islamist members in the assembly. Al-Din added the declaration ensures Morsy’s intervention in all state powers.

Among those who withdrew are Wafd party leaders Mohamed Kamel and Abdel Aleem Dawoud and Ghad Al-Thawra party. These parties had previously refused to follow other non-Islamists in quitting the assembly.

 “The constitutional declaration confirms that there is no such thing as a state for us to draft a constitution for,” Kamel said.

The remaining Constitution Assembly members represent only four parties, three of which are Islamist-oriented: the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Al-Nour Salafi party, the moderate Islamist Al-Wasat party, and the Civilization party.

The remaining representatives announced their support for the president’s latest decisions, confirming that the withdrawal of non-Islamist members won’t affect the assembly. Remaining assembly member Gamal Gebril stated that the 20 members who withdrew shall be replaced.

“If a new assembly is to be formed, would everyone approve of having the president form it?” Gebril said, referring to the ruling that if the assembly is unable to come to consensus the president will form a new assembly. He added that the constitutional declaration should have been more comprehensive. He said it should have prohibited looking into the constitutionality of anything until a permanent constitution was drafted, thus stalling the lawsuits filed regarding the constitutionality of the Constituent Assembly.

Sha’ban Abdel Aleem, assembly member and Al-Nour party member, described the declaration as positive since “it achieves a minimum of the revolution’s demands.” Abdel Aleem, alongside the remaining representatives, refused the two-month mandate extension granted to the assembly, stating that the assembly is finished with drafting the constitution.


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