Egypt’s Constituent Assembly, tasked with the drafting of Egypt’s new Constitution, is on the final stages of its work with almost 70% text of the document ready, according to Mohamed Mahsoub, Constituent Assembly member and newly appointed Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs.
The remaining 30% of the state’s Constitution are expected to be drafted in weeks following Eid Al-Fitr. So the entire draft of the Constitution could be ready in the middle of September and could be represented to Egyptian citizens for referendum, as it was stated before.
The work of the Constituent Assembly was adjourned after 16 August, and the constitutional body will reconvene its work after holidays. The Assembly’s Chairman Hossam Al-Ghiriani stated that the representatives of the Assembly do not want to waste time and are willing to finish drafting the document and present it to the public discussion and following approval as soon as possible.
Mohamed Mahsoub also stressed that the Constitution would then put up for the public referendum in the middle or at the end of October.
The process of drafting the new Constitution consists of three phases:
- All the five committees of the Constituent Assembly, tasked with the drafting of the special chapters of the Constitution, have the meetings and the hearing sessions. Then they began the drafting of each chapter of the future Constitution. Some of the committees were also divided into the sub-committees, such as the government committee (divided into two sub-committees, one of them focusing more on the administrative authorities, and the second one on the judicial one).
- Then all the committees have to submit the initial drafts of their chapters to a special team in the Assembly tasked with the compiling of the text of the Constitution as a whole document before it will be put up for the public discussions and referendum. The document in its final form will be discussed during the plenary meetings of the 100-members Constituent Assembly. This phase is expected to be completed till the end of next week.
- On the final stage of the drafting of Egypt’s new Constitution the first and the second reading of the Constitution by the whole Assembly will take place. These reading will be aired live on the state TV, so Egyptian will be able to follow the process and give their comments during the public discussions. Then the national referendum will be held, and after it the new Egyptian Constitution will be finally approved.
However, despite the fact that almost 70% of the draft is already written, the Constituent Assembly still faces struggles within it over some very important issues. All those debates make the process of writing the document difficult within such a short period of time.
Among the most debated and questionable issues is the point relates to the regulation of the HCC (High Constitutional Court). Some of the Assembly members demand this judicial body to stay independent as it was before, and some other member in their turn state that it should be included in a chapter dealing with judicial authority as a whole, without specifying the status of HCC. There is still no agreement about this issue among the members of the Constituent Assembly.