Egypt releases first ‘incomplete’ draft of new constitution

Cairo, Oct. 11 (Xinhua-ANI): The drafting commission in the Egyptian Constituent Assembly has finished the first draft of the constitution except some articles to be worked out within a week, official news agency MENA reported on Wednesday.

Some chapters related to the state executive authority, the public regulations and the status of the military institution will be drafted in the coming week, MENA quoted Mohamed Beltagy, head of the suggestions and dialogues commission in the assembly as saying at a press conference.

According to Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi’s constitutional declaration, the draft will be put to a public referendum. Beltagy asserted “the referendum will be on the entire constitution with a yes or no, not its articles separately.”

Beltagy said his commission has taken into consideration the views of most of the Egyptian society associations and segments.

In regard to the president powers, there will be four articles concerning the foreign and defense affairs, national security, and the announcement of state of emergency, added the report.

The current draft is only a first reading and it is not discussed collectively or authorized by the assembly, according to Beltagy.

He said the article about closing the newspapers has been deleted, but those convicted of defamation is to be punished should the charter get passed.

After the constitution gets approved, the Constituent Assembly will be turned into a popular and civil panel, whose work will focus on monitoring if the constitution’s articles are applied, he added.

The Administrative Court on Tuesday postponed to rule on the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly till Oct. 16. (Xinhua-ANI)