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50 articles of the constitution approved: Salmawy

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Articles sent to the Committee of Experts to review before finalisation

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 assembly tasked with amending the constitution has agreed upon 50 of its articles, according to its spokesman on Saturday

Mohamed Salmawy, in a statement reported by state-owned news agency MENA, said the articles had been sent to the Committee of Experts, consisting of ten judges and academics, to be reviewed before being finalised by the assembly. The articles make up approximately one quarter of the amended constitution, according to the spokesman.

The articles that have been agreed upon deal with a wide range of topics, according to Salmawy, including rights of children, the disabled, voters, candidates running for office, protesting, Egyptians living abroad, and playing sports. The assembly determined that the right to protest would be guaranteed to those notifying authorities prior.

The articles also deal with the right to form associations and institutions, farmers and workers syndicates and unions, and other professional syndicates.

The spokesman said the assembly’s next meeting would take place on Sunday and deal with intellectual property rights, charitable endowments, crimes against humanity, organ donation and Egypt’s development of border zones.

The spokesman is expected to hold a press conference following Sunday’s session to disclose the newly-agreed upon articles.

Last week the assembly began voting on drafted articles while working on finalising undrafted articles.  The voting has been conducted in closed sessions, and media access during the voting has not been permitted. On Thursday the assembly preliminary passed articles on the freedom of the press and publishing.

The assembly is scheduled to finish amending the constitution by December, after which a public referendum will take place before ratifying the changes.

Constitutional expert Tharwat Badawy said that the amended constitution would be the “worst constitution in history” because of the abnormally vast powers given to the army, which “does not exist in any other country,” making it a “state above a state.”

Badawy added that all segments of society, with specific reference to the judiciary, are seeking their own interests in the amended constitution.


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