The 50-member committee tasked with writing the final draft of Egypt’s new constitution will begin its final weeks of negotiation on Tuesday, 22 October.

Mohamed Salmawy, the committee’s media spokesperson, told parliamentary correspondents on Monday that “the committee completed the first half of its task in 30 work days.”

According to Salmawy, the “subcommittees successfully finalised an initial draft of the constitution so that it could be discussed by the 50-member committee as a whole during the second half of its work.”

During the next 30 days of committee work, to begin tomorrow, “the main objective will be to prepare the constitution’s final draft for a vote. This means settling differences among members over unresolved issues and seeking as wide a consensus as possible,” Salmawy explained.

The second phase will end on 3 December, and then the final draft will be referred to Interim President Adly Mansour and put to a national referendum.

During tomorrow’s closed-door session, the 50-member committee will review the six chapters of the new constitution drafted by the subcommittees. It will then “open discussion among members over unresolved issues in order to seek consensus,” Salmawy said.

According to Salmawy, the session will be closed in order to “prevent the media from publishing conflicting reports that might cause confusion for citizens.” Instead, a press conference will be held after each session to deliver formal statements regarding the debates.

The full-committee sessions will begin at 11 am every workday, and there will be three sessions per day in order to reach the 3 December deadline.

A subcommittee headed by Cairo University professor Abdel-Gelil Mostafa has finalised a review of the new constitution’s 190 articles. Salmawy expects the final draft will include as many as 250 articles.

The 50-member committee began its work on 8 September. As the committee completed the first half of its task within 30 days, it will not require an extension on the mandated 60-day period to finalise a draft because “the next half [of the task] will be much easier,” Salmawy argued.

On Monday, a meeting was held between leading representatives to discuss the so-called “identity articles,” which refer to articles one to three of the new constitution concerning the national religion and the basis of Egyptian law. see more

source: ahramonline