1 December 2012

Egypt: Morsy Receives Draft Constitution Saturday, Sets Date for Referendum

President Mohamed Morsy Saturday 01/12/2012 receives the final draft constitution from Counselor Hossam Al Gheryany, the head of the Constituent Assembly for writing the Egyptian national charter with the CA members attending.

The president is due to call on citizens to take part in a public referendum on the draft constitution.

Gheryany said the Constituent Assembly bureau will continue work to accomplish some administrative and financial issues adding he would undertake some corrections and amendments which have been recently introduced into the draft constitution in preparation for printing it in its final form.

Gheryany noted the draft constitution will be printed in a booklet by the Ministry of Culture to be sold at a token price, urging the members of the Assembly to launch a campaign for explaining the articles of the constitution.

The Constituent Assembly had unanimously approved the draft constitution at 7 a.m. on Friday after a marathon session which lasted for more than 17 hours.

The last minutes of the Constituent Assembly debates witnessed sharp disagreements on the articles of political isolation of the dissolved National Democratic Party and the ratio of workers and farmers representation in the People's Assembly.

Debates had started on article no.232 on the political isolation early dawn Friday. Counselor Gheryany called on the members not to be so cruel with all members of the dissolved National Democratic Party so that the constitution may not be interpreted as retaliatory and an instrument for settling scores.

Dr. Hussein El Shafei, the representative of Al Azhar called for not isolating the members of the politburo of the dissolved National Democratic Party, a thing which was considered as a discrimination for the Grand Imam of Al Azhar and a number of lawmakers.

After long debates, the draft constitution stipulated that leaderships of the dissolved National Democratic Party are prohibited from practicing political life and nomination for the presidency and the legislative elections for a period of 10 years starting from the date the constitution is put into effect.

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