4 December 2012

Egypt: PM - Mursi Decree to Fall If Charter Passes

Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil described on Monday a draft constitution written by an Islamist-dominated assembly as "balanced", insisting that it does not put the law "in the hands of God".

Kandil also considered a decree issued by Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi as a positive step forward "to protect the process of building the democratic institutions."

Mursi issued a constitutional decree on November 22 shielding his decisions from judicial review while a constituent assembly finished drafting a new charter on Friday allowing it to be put to a referendum on December 15.

In an interview with CNN, Kandil said on Monday that the people will have the say on whether the draft charter will pass, inviting them to study it thoroughly.

He insisted that Mursi's decree "will fall immediately" if the controversial draft constitution passes.

The PM expressed concern not only over possible misinterpretations of the articles and clauses of the draft constitution but also over putting them into effect.

He believes that the charter delivers a good framework for key issues including women rights, minorities and economic development among other matters of national interest.

Over 10 Egyptian newspapers went on strike on Tuesday and opposition forces have organized a "Last Warning" march to Egypt's presidential palace in protest against the presidential decree and the draft constitution.

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