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Army meets with Constituent Assembly to discuss army-related articles

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Assembly spokesman says wording of 50 articles complete, but leftist representative criticises article on religious parties as insufficient

A general view of Egypt's 50-member panel that has been tasked with drawing up a new constitution during their first meeting in Cairo. (AFP File Photo)

A general view of Egypt’s 50-member panel that has been tasked with drawing up a new constitution during their first meeting in Cairo.
(AFP File Photo)

Military representatives Generals Mohamed Al-Assar and Mamdouh Shahin met with an undisclosed number of Constituent Assembly members for four hours on Saturday night at the Shura Council headquarters, reported state-owned Al-Ahram.

The closed meeting, according to Al-Ahram, aimed to convince the assembly members to keep the army-related articles in the ten-judge-committee’s draft without amendment.

The office of the Armed Forces spokesman said that it has no further information about the meeting.

The assembly’s spokesman, Mohamed Salmawy, said in a press conference held on Sunday in Shura Council that the meeting included “an agreement regarding the challenges that Egypt faces locally and internationally,” adding that members had “praised the role played by the armed forces during the 30 June Revolution.”

Assembly head Amr Moussa meanwhile suggested the formation of a sub-committee to discuss the army-related articles, with the membership of Abdel Galil Mostafa, the assembly’s deputy, two military representatives and three assembly members. The suggestion was later approved.

Salmway noted that the committee responsible for wording has completed 50 articles out of 100 received from the assembly’s four sub-committees.

The spokesman added that the legal committee is discussing the possibility of writing a new constitution without violating the constitutional decree forming the Constituent Assembly. It will voice its opinion on the issue before the assembly’s meeting on Wednesday.

Leftist political factions representative and leading Al-Tagammu party figure Hussein Abdel Razek said that the wording of Article 54, which is concerned with parties formed on religious grounds, “does not change anything.”

The statements came in a press release, directed to Hoda Elsadda, Freedoms and Rights committee head, and the 50 members of the assembly.

Abdel Razek requested that the article ban not only the formation of parties on religious grounds, but also those with religious influences. According to Razek, parties such as Freedom and Justice, Al-Nour and Building and Development claim to be civil parties with Islamic influences.

Al-Nour party chairman Younes Makhioun, condemned the article, describing it as “Mubarak’s exclusionary article.”

Additional Reporting: Ibrahim Al-Masry

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