The second session of the Joint Committee of the Egyptian Parliament’s two Houses, on Saturday, witnessed a majority vote that approved the proposal of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) for the Constituent Assembly (CA) to comprise 50 parliamentarians and 50 others, from outside of parliament. The FJP’s suggested proportions won 472 votes of the elected members of the People’s Assembly and Shura Council.
To start with, there were three main suggestions to consider, regarding criteria for the formation of the CA entrusted with writing the country’s new constitution:
The first suggestion was for a totally extra-parliamentary CA; and was supported by MP Aboul-Ezz Al-Mustafa; and refused by the FJP’s MP Mustafa Khalifa.
The second suggestion proposed a parliamentarians-only CA; and was supported by Salafi MP Mamdouh Ismail; and refused by leftist MP Saad Oud (the Karama or ‘Dignity’ party).
The third suggestion was for a CA comprising members from inside and outside Parliament; and was supported by Hussein Ibrahim; and opposed by MP Mohamed Khalifa Tellawi.
Meanwhile, Dr. Farid Ismail, Deputy of the Defense, National Security and Mobilization Committee of the Egyptian People’s Assembly (PA), said: "Some parties demanded that the CA should comprise 60 parliamentarians and 40 others, from outside of parliament, like the Nour Party. Yet again, the Construction and Development Party demanded 70% of the CA to be selected from parliament and 30% from outside. So, we decided to change our original proposal to reconcile all differing points of view". Dr. Ismail also stressed that the CA will represent all the spectra of Egyptian society”.
Reiterating his party’s search for harmony, Hussein Ibrahim, FJP spokesman, said: "We hope there would be a consensus, rather than majority control, in the CA. We certainly want all Egypt’s stakeholders, from within and outside of Parliament to be represented in the CA. We believe 50% should be from parliament and 50% from outside; instead of our original proposal of 40% from parliament and 60% from outside".