By Ethar Shalaby
In an attempt to create accord over the draft constitution, President Mohamed Morsy has met with the heads of 10 political parties, assuring them that articles relating to women and child labour are still negotiable.
Presidential spokesperson Yasser Ali said the main focus of the meeting was the debate over the constitution. “It was about the importance of having a national accord to achieve constitutional stability in the country,” Ali said.
He added that most of those present concurred that 90 per cent of the articles in the latest version of the draft constitution were acceptable. “We have indeed overcome the controversial articles 2 and 221 that deal with Islamic Shari’a,” Ali said.
Ayman Nour, head of Ghad Al-Thawra party, Abul Ella Mady, head of Al-Wasat party, Faird Ismail, from the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP), Ahmed Bora’i, a representative of Al-Dostour Party, and the head of the Free Egyptians party Ahmed Saeed were among those present.
Saeed told Daily News Egypt that most of liberal and leftist parties have not debated articles of the constitution with Morsy, but had expressed their disappointment with the Constituent Assembly, requesting its dissolution. “I told the president that we do not want to pass a referendum of the constitution only to face a court decision ordering the dissolution of the assembly,” he said.
He added that his party voiced its objection to Morsy that the Constituent Assembly was a body created by the formerly ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces.
Ali said the meeting agreed that 12 December would be the deadline for the Constituent Assembly to finalise the draft constitution. “In few days we will try to reach a complete vision on the constitution,” Ali said.
Saeed, however, said that many present disagreed with the date and asked Morsy to extend the deadline. “Since we were not a representative of the assembly, Morsy just replied saying that probably we all need to meet more.”
The head of the Ghad Al-Thawra party said in a press release that one of his main requests to Morsy in the meeting was to call all political groups together to reach a complete accord on the constitution.
“We stressed that the latest statement of the Constituent Assembly’s secretary general that there is 100 per cent accord on articles is definitely incorrect,” Nour said.
If political powers failed to agree on the constitution, Nour suggested that a new Constituent Assembly should be formed and with a mandate to finalise its work in a period of three months.
At the time of print, Morsy was about to meet a group of 10 young political figures including Wael Khalil, Injy Hamdy, Israa AbdelFatah and Ahmed Okeil to continue discussions on the draft constitution in an another attempt at social dialogue.