Egypt: The elusive formula

Egypt’s military rulers are scheduled to meet with political leaders on Sunday in a bid to end the deadlock surrounding the drafting of a new constitution – Published on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Gamal Essam El-Din, 19 – 25 April 2012.

The heads of 20 political parties, the speaker of the People’s Assembly, the chairman of the Shura Council and a number of leading independent figures will meet on Sunday with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, chairman of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), in an attempt to hammer out the membership of a new constituent assembly. The meeting is expected to end with Tantawi asking elected deputies of the two houses of parliament to hold a new joint meeting to elect the assembly charged with drafting a new constitution.  

The Islamist-dominated constituent assembly formed on 24 March amid fierce criticism from liberal forces was dissolved on 10 April on the orders of the Cairo Administrative Court. The court ruled that the formation of the assembly was unrepresentative, dismissing arguments that its composition could not be challenged on the grounds that “the constituent assembly is an administrative committee and its orders can therefore be appealed”.

In the wake of the dissolution of the assembly political leaders met with Tantawi and other members of SCAF in a bid to find a common ground between Islamists and liberals on how a new assembly might be formed. In the 15 April meeting Tantawi underlined the importance of completing a constitution ahead of power being handed to an elected president and civilian government on 30 June.

“It is unreasonable and illogical to elect a president without a constitution in place detailing the duties and prerogatives of the office. The interim Constitutional Declaration, announced on 30 March 2011, is not enough to act as a constitution… it was issued as a framework for running the political affairs of Egypt only during the transitional period,” said Tantawi.

The Administrative Court order and Tantawi’s announcement represent a victory for liberals who have long argued a constitution must be in place by the time a new president is elected … //

… Meanwhile, Al-Azhar is actively encouraging Islamists and liberals to reach a common ground on the new constituent assembly. Gamal Azza, an assistant to the Sheikh of Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayeb, said “the principles of the Al-Azhar document on Egypt’s new constitution could be used as a tool to help liberals and Islamists reach a consensus over the formation of the new constituent assembly.” (full text).


Egypt: Just starting, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Ahmed Morsy, 19 – 25 April 2012;

Take the money and run, on Al-Ahram weekly online, by Jailan Halawi, 2 – 8 February 2012;

and some forgotten general links:

Facing the Future with Confidence: Farewell address of Federal President Micheline Calmy-Rey, Head of the Confederate Department of Foreign Affairs, given on the occasion of the new election of the Federal Council, Berne, 14 December 2011;

Psychiatry and Menschenbild (concept of man) – made in USA: Thoughts on the development of the world’s most widely useddiagnostic manual DSM provided for the occasion of the 2013 edition;

Scientists cure cancer, but no one takes notice;

in german: Sarrazin und Ströbele bei Peter Hahne, 1/2, 12.48 min; 2/2, 12.41 min;

in french: la schizophrénie du militant de l’alter-développement, avec Alec SOMOZA, 65.32 minutes;

in french: La Culture et la socioculture, avec Anna Amélie HEINTZ, 44.07 min.

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