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Constitution must include expression of Egypt’s Islamic identity: Al-Nour Party

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Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour, Al-Nour party representative, says that the exclusion of such expressions in the preamble is “a major flaw”

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)

The new Constitution’s preamble must include an expression of Egypt’s Islamic identity, Al-Nour Party representative in the Constituent Assembly Mohamed Ibrahim Mansour said Saturday.

In a release by the party’s Facebook page, Mansour added that the exclusion of such expressions in the preamble would be a “major flaw”.

The Islamist party’s representative in the assembly said such expressions could include “reference to legislation,” and the document’s “cultural and linguistic attributes”.

The new constitution, however, threatens the existence of Al-Nour Party.

On 25 September, Mohamed Salmawy, spokesperson for the Assembly, announced that the body had decided to ban the formation of political parties that carry a religious message.

He added that the status of existing parties with a religious basis would be reviewed according to criteria that will be established by a subsequent law on political parties. The constitutional draft stipulates that a political party may be disbanded only by a court verdict.

Al-Nour Party chairman Younes Makhioun said on 27 September that the party “strongly objects” to the assembly’s decision to ban the formation of political parties with religious bases, in a statement issued on the party’s Facebook page.

Recently, the party had caused controversy when Bishop Pola of Tanta walked out of a meeting of the Constituent Assembly on 30 September in protest over the amount of time he was allowed to respond to a member of the Salafi Al-Nour Party. The Orthodox Christian bishop was present at a meeting that was targeted at hearing the recommendations of the Al-Nour Party.

On 7 October, Salmawy announced that the first draft of the constitution is set to be completed within a week.


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