Al Nour party representative in the constituent assembly, Bassam Al Zarqa, was replaced with Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour per presidential decree number 570 for the year 2013, on Thursday night.
The party’s representative, Bassam Al-Zarqa, withdrew from a session on Monday in protest over a disagreement on the topic of Sharia in the constitution.
Al-Zarqa had proposed to replace the word “principles” with “rules,” or to completely remove the word “principles” in articles with the phrasing “Islamic Sharia principles” during his last constituent assembly meeting. The committee’s head and other members dismissed his proposal.
Al- Zarqa’s substitute, Mohamed Al Azhari, was also replaced by Salah Abdel Ma’abou.
The new representative, Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, is Al-Nour Party’s high ranking member, on the board of directors of ”Al Da’awa Al Salafeya,” while his reserve, Abdel Ma’aboud is a member of the Al Nour party’s higher institute and former member of parliament.
The absence of both representatives resulted in two spots being transferred to another party. “If the representatives of the party, main and reserve, withdrew from the assembly, they no longer have a spot,” said constituent assembly spokesman Mohamed Salmawy. “The presidential decree was issued to keep Al-Nour party within the constituent assembly.”
The constituent assembly witnessed an Islamist-secular split between the Al-Nour Party and other members within the committee. The Islamist-based party has opposed amending certain articles, such as article 2, which regards main sources of legislation, article 219, which explains the main principles of the Sharia law and article 3, which limits the religions practiced in Egypt, besides Islam, to Christianity and Judaism.
Al Nour Party spokesman, Sherif Taha, explained that Al-Zarqa withdrew due to ill-health, and Ihab Badawi, presidential spokesman, stated that “Al-Nour party requested the replacement.”
The constituent assembly has two representatives from each party, an assigned main representative and a reserve one who is to fill in for the main representative, should he not be present.
The party chairman, Younes Makhioun, said on Al-Arabiya TV channel on Tuesday that the constituent committee is off to a “bad start.” The Party Chairman, however, confirmed
Amr Moussa, constituent assembly president, met with Makhioun on Thursday to discuss further issues in the assembly.