Two months after lawmakers filled an assembly tasked with drafting Egypt’s new constitution with Islamists, secular parties—who will better represent the country’s Christian minority—may be given equal representation.
By Anugrah Kumar
6/10/2012 Egypt (Christian Post) – The Speaker of Egypt’s parliament said lawmakers will once again elect on Tuesday members of the constituent assembly tasked to draft the country’s new constitution, days after Islamist and secular-minded parties agreed for even representation in the crucial body formerly dominated by conservative Muslims.
“We have invited the elected members of parliament to a joint meeting at 11 am on Tuesday … to elect a 100-member assembly to prepare a new constitution for the state,” local newspapers quoted Speaker Saad al-Katatny as saying Saturday.
The country’s political parties agreed to a 50-50 split between Islamists and secularists in the constituent assembly hours before a 48-hour ultimatum issued by the ruling military council was about to be over Thursday.
Parties agreed that 39 seats will be filled by members of parliament, six by judges, nine by law experts, one each by a member of the armed forces, the police and the justice ministry, 13 by unions, and 21 by public figures, including five by the Al-Azhar University and four by the Coptic Orthodox Church, according to Agence France Presse.
The make-up of the constituent assembly is crucial to Egypt’s future, as the new constitution its members are going to draft will define the relationship between Islam and the state, the military’s role in politics, and the powers of the new president and the parliament.
“I think this is very important. This is a great step to protect Egypt against writing an Islamic constitution,” Christian Science Monitor quoted Mohamed Aboulghar, the leader of the secular-oriented Egyptian Social Democratic Party, as saying.