Egypt: Liberal hegemony

Secular forces dominated a 50-member committee entrusted with writing the final draft of Egypt’s new constitution – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, Sept 4, 2013.

Secular forces, primarily liberals and leftists, dominated the formation of a 50-member committee entrusted with writing the final draft of Egypt’s post-30 June constitution. Islamists, who dominated the Constituent Assembly which drafted Egypt’s Islamist-backed constitution in 2012, were marginalised to three. 

The list, unveiled on Sunday by presidential aide Ehab Al-Badawi, showed that high-profile liberals such as Amr Moussa, Egypt’s former foreign minister and ex-secretary-general of the Arab League; Al-Sayed Al-Badawi, chairman of the secular-oriented Wafd Party; and Mohamed Abul-Ghar, chairman of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, came on top.

Moussa, also a former presidential candidate who decided to boycott meetings of the Constituent Assembly in 2012, sharply attacked the drafting of several articles that imposed a strict code of Islam. In a letter sent to a 10-member technical committee that finalised an initial draft of the new constitution a month ago, Moussa pressed hard for removing three articles from the new constitution, on top of which was Article 219 which he said is redundant and imposes “mediaeval Islam” on Egyptians.

The list also includes a big array of liberal intellectuals and public figures. Foremost among these is chairman of the Union of Egyptian Writers and Mohamed Salmawy; cinema director Khaled Youssef; artist Mohamed Abla; and poet Sayed Hegab. Salmawy and Youssef, in particular, are formidable foes of the Muslim Brotherhood and its strict Islamist ideology … //

… The 50-member committee was formed in accordance with articles 28 and 29 of the post-30 June Constitutional Declaration issued on 8 July. Interim President Adli Mansour issued a decree on Sunday, forming the 50-member panel after a 10-member technical committee finalised the first stage of Egypt’s political roadmap last week by amending the 2012 Islamist-backed constitution.

Ehab Badawi, Mansour’s advisor, told a press conference that the 50-member committee will begin writing the final draft of Egypt’s new constitution on 8 September. It should finish its task in 60 days after which the constitution will be put to a national referendum.

(full text).

(see also: Welcome to our new blog: politics for the 99%)..

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