Egypt to have new statute by late September: PM

Egypt to have new statute by late September: PM

Egypt will have a new constitution drafted by the end of September and ready to be submitted to a nationwide referendum, the country’s prime minister said on Saturday.

By (AFP)

Published: Mon 27 Aug 2012, 9:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:03 PM

Hisham Kandil did not specify a date for the referendum, though, according to Egypt’s MENA state news agency.

The drafting of a new constitution has been a highly divisive issue in Egypt since last year’s uprising that ousted longtime authoritarian ruler Hosni Mubarak. The new charter is expected to define limits on the president’s powers and the role of Shariah. Liberals walked out twice from the panel tasked with writing the constitution in the past, complaining that the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s most powerful political group, was trying to monopolise its drafting.

The panel was appointed by members of the Brotherhood-led parliament.

After the legislature was dissolved, the country’s military generals gave themselves the right to oversee the drafting process. However, in a bold political move, President Mohammed Mursi, who is a member of the Brotherhood, forced the top generals into early retirement this month and seized back control of the constitution writing process. Mursi has said that if the 100-member panel currently drafting the document does not finish its work for whatever reason, he will appoint a new one within 15 days and give it three weeks to finish its work. The draft will then be put to a vote in a national referendum within 30 days.

Separately, Mursi’s spokesman announced on Saturday a number of presidential advisors from the around 15 that will be appointed by the president.

The president has yet to name a vice president, but has promised to be inclusive.

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