By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) held a meeting with 19 political powers to discuss the crisis over the controversial, Islamist-dominated formation of the Constituent Assembly.
Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi and Chief of Staff Samy Enan met members of political parties including the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), the Salafi Al-Nour, Al-Assala and the Free Egyptians.
MPs Mostafa Bakry, Amr El-Chobbaki and Marian Malak, also attended the meeting.
Ahmed Saeid, Free Egyptians Party MP, MP Mostafa El Naggar from Al-Adl, Al-Wafd’s Al-Sayed Al-Badawy, and MP Mohamed Anwar Sadat, with the Reform and Development Party also attended the meeting.
Chairman of the FJP, Mohamed Morsi, left the Muslim Brotherhood’s guidance office meeting to join the SCAF meeting.
Head of the Popular Alliance Socialist Party Abdel Ghaffar Shokr slammed SCAF and rejected its intervention, declaring that the party refused the meeting altogether.
Executive manager of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, Hany Naguib, denied rumors that the party refused to attend the SCAF meeting.
“We are not present at the meeting because Dr. Mohamed Abol Ghar is out of the country and he is our representative,” he explained, referring to the founder of the party who withdrew from the Constituent Assembly.
Sixteen elected members of the assembly had walked out by late Monday, objecting to the dominance of Islamists, who comprise about 60 percent of the members.
The assembly will hold its first meeting on March 28.
SCAF and the MB have been butting heads lately, issuing strong statements criticizing each other.
“We were careful not to be provoked, but what happened recently is enough,” Tantawi said in a statement Sunday, referring to a statement released Saturday by the MB, criticizing the government’s performance and questioning why the ruling SCAF is backing it despite its utter “failure.”
“This is a power struggle that has manifested itself in the form of a disagreement over the current government. Deep down it is much more than this as each party wants to protect its interests and the power balance after the presidential elections,” said Mazen Hassan, professor of electoral systems at Cairo University.
“Once again in the matter of the Constituent Assembly, SCAF has intervened as part of this power struggle with the MB,” he added.