4 November 2011
The Egyptian Institute for the Development of the Welfare of Children (EIDWC) has declared its rejection of the document announced by Vice Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy, which he had termed “a road-map for drafting a new Constitution”, three days ago.
In his capacity as Vice PM for political affairs and democratic conversion, Mr Selmy had been in charge of drafting a proposal for fundamental constitutional principles, following discussions with various political and rights groups in the country. He said the proposal “represented the views of all political forces to ensure the construction of a new system based on democracy”, and invited remarks or reservation on the proposal. Selmy said the document would not be submitted to the military council unless it is approved by all political forces.
Several political factions in Egypt rejected the proposal. Even before it was convened, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Salafi al-Nour party, and al-Jamaa al-Islamiya announced their intention to boycott the meeting. All Islamist factions later rejected the proposed documents on grounds that it favoured “the West and the seculars”. They argued that granting “500 unelected individuals the right to impose criteria would be a confiscation of Egyptian people’s rights”.
The liberals rejected it because it gave sweeping authority to the military.
For its part, the EIDWC declared that: “after willingly taking part since last August in the discussions relating to the formulation of this document, the EIDWC discovered that, in its final form, the document omitted several articles that had been previously agreed upon, and included a few that had not been discussed.
The omissions included the sections relating to the protection of freedom and rights of women and children. The principles (9 and 10) added gave the Military Council the power to protect and defend constitutional legitimacy and declared it the only body authorised to discuss the military budget.
The EIDWC denounced any enforcement of a military or a religious state, or the control of one faction in Egypt over the entire country, even if this faction is brought in through the ballot box. It declared that it was for building a modern civil state where the laws of individual freedom and human rights are respected and protected without any discrimination.