Salafi representative walks out of constituent assembly over phrasing

Monday 16-09-2013 05:47 PM
Salafi representative walks out of constituent assembly over phrasing

Constitutional Assembly-September 2012/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany/ Reuters


The representative of the Salafi (ultraconservative) Nour Party, Bassam al-Razqa, walked out of Monday's constituent assembly meeting after his suggestions regarding the phrasing of some of the articles were turned down by the assembly.

Sources from the assembly told Aswat Masriya that Razqa had asked that the word "principles" be removed form Article (2) which says: Islam is the religion of the state, Arabic is the official language and the principles of Islamic Sharia (law) is the main source of legislation.

He was also displeased that the assembly wanted to include "non-Muslims" within the third article of the constitution. 

Article (3) grants Christian and Jewish communities in Egypt the right to resort to their own laws and principles in their personal lives, religious matters and in choosing their spiritual leaders.

The party had decided to take part in the amending process of the constitution, which was written by an Islamist-led assembly under ousted President Mohamed Mursi, to "defend the gains of the revolution". 

Nour, which won the second largest number of seats in last year's parliamentary elections, has accused the assembly of representing one faction only and deliberately excluding Islamists. 

The assembly's spokesman, Mohamed Salmawy, said that Razqa's withdrawal from today's meeting does not mean that the representative has completely quit. 

He added that if Razqa were to completely withdraw from the assembly, he would be replaced by his substitute. 

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