Pro-Morsi coalition slams Nour Party for joining constitutional panel

The April 6 Movement protest movement also criticized the inclusion of Nour Party in the constitutional amendments committee.

Pro-Morsi coalition slams Nour Party for joining constitutional panel

World Bulletin/News Desk

The National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy, a coalition of largely Islamist bodies and figures supportive of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, criticized the Salafist Nour Party for joining a 50-member committee tasked with approving amendments to the 2012 army-suspended constitution.

Ihab Sheeha, the leader of the Salafist Asala Party and a senior member in the Alliance, said Nour does not represent Islamists.

"The announcement did not come up with anything new. It is something expected from this party [Nour]," Sheeha told the Anadolu Agency, hinting at Nour's backing of the military roadmap, under which Morsi was ousted and the constitution suspended in early July.

"Nour has become like the [leftist and liberal] parties led by Hamdeen Sabbahi and Amr Moussa, if not worse. We don't consider it to be an Islamist party anymore," Sheeha argued.

On Sunday, Nour said it decided to participate in the 50-member committee tasked with deciding on amendments to the constitution, reversing an earlier decision to shun the panel following the proposed removal of Article 219 which describes the "principles of Sharia" as all proofs, jurisprudential bases and sources agreed on by Sunni schools.

On Tuesday, a ten-member legal panel tasked with proposing amendments to the suspended charter finalized their work and presented its recommendations to the presidency.

But the final draft constitution is the task of the 50-strong committee, which is being formed by the army-installed interim administration.

Sheeha said that the controversy over Article 129 is "a marginal battle".

"Even if this article was kept in the new constitution, it would lose its meaning and value under the coup plotters," he suggested, referring to those who ousted and supported the ouster of Morsi.

"Islamic Sharia would be fought, and no one would be able to guarantee the fairness of elections or the integrity of the democratic process."

Meanwhile, the April 6 Movement protest movement criticized the inclusion of Nour Party in the constitutional amendments committee.

"I refuse to see a party that did not partake in the two waves of January 25 revolution included in the committee tasked with turning the revolution goals into reality," tweeted Inji Hamed, a founding member of the group.

"How come we ask for the dissolution of religious parties and the abolishment of religion-based parties in the new constitution while one of the parties facing dissolution would be involved in writing the amendments," she added.

The presidency is expected to soon name the 50 members who would debate the proposed amendments for two months before submitting a draft constitution to be put to referendum.

The presidential adviser for constitutional affairs, Ali Awad, said Egypt’s system of government in the proposed constitution would be semi-parliamentary.

In exclusive statements to the Anadolu Agency, Awad said the party with a parliamentary majority will form the government, while executive powers will be divided between the president and prime minister.

Article 2 and 3 of the suspended constitution will remain in the revised charter, while Article 129 will be abolished, Awad said.

Article 2 of the suspended constitution states that "Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is the official language and the principles of Sharia are the main source of legislation."

Article 3 also states that personal and religious affairs of Christians and Jews are governed by their laws.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Ağustos 2013, 17:44