Dr. Ahmed Fahmi, Chairman of the Egyptian consultative Shura Council, highlighted the importance of representation of the full spectrum of society in the Constituent Assembly (CA) that will draw up the Constitution, stressing that parliament will not exclude anyone from partaking in the drafting of the new Constitution.
Hussein Ibrahim, President of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) parliamentary bloc, asserted that "The FJP is ready to fulfill another goal of the revolution and the noble Egyptian people by forming the CA, making sure it includes all classes, all segments of society to write the new Constitution, which the people await – both within Egypt as well as expatriates living abroad.
Further, Ibrahim said, “We want a constitution that aims to safeguard citizenship, without regard for color, sex or even faith, to ensure social justice for all, with all Egyptians equal before the law, a constitution that will also prevent any authority encroaching upon other authorities’ competences.
“We have a vision for the CA to include 40 members from both Houses of Parliament and 60 from outside. 30 of the non-parliamentarian members should be experts, specialists and technocrats, while the other half should be from Egypt’s various associations and bodies. I propose the formation of a parliamentary committee to collect proposals and suggestions, including ideas from within the parliament or experts and intellectuals from outside it. That committee should then present those suggestions and ideas at the joint meeting of the People's Assembly (PA) and Shura Council”, Ibrahim added.
Meanwhile, Dr. Mohamed Saad Katatni, Speaker of the Egyptian PA, asserted that the Assembly is not only committed to achieving the demands of the revolution, but also to fulfilling the demands, hopes and aspirations of the Egyptian people. He explained that today's meeting was to elect a CA to draft a new constitution, a prelude to a referendum in which the people shall have their say.
In his speech, Katatni reviewed the constitutions drawn up by Egypt since the Constitution of 1882, through the Constitution of 1923, and the Constitution of 1956, as well as the Constitution of 1971, pointing out that the style and the way adopted today to write the new Constitution is one of the best democratic practices for constitution-drafting, and that it is rooted in the principle of sovereignty of the people.
Katatni also emphasized that Parliament will not exclude anyone in the endeavors to write the new Constitution, pointing out that the CA will include representatives from all political forces and stakeholders, trade unions and religious, cultural and social institutions as well as distinguished specialists and intellectuals, because the basis of power is justice.
The Speaker of the PA added that today's meeting is an important building block in establishing democracy. He stressed the importance of taking into account representation of the full spectrum of the Egyptian people, out of commitment to the principles of openness and communication with all segments of society. He underlined the importance of a high level specialized technical secretariat to assist the CA in the performance of its work.
Katatni said, "We look forward for the new anticipated Constitution to help everyone recognize the philosophy of the new system and its principles, to bolster the trust between the people and their representatives, and to adopt the principles and goals of the revolution, explaining that constitutions are written in agreement with everyone, with no regard to majority or party.
“All MPs must shoulder their responsibility wisely, conscientiously", Katatni added.