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A constitution of discord

· The vote on the new Charter risks heightening tensions in Egypt ·

Anticipating the deadlines scheduled in the attempt to put an end to the violence in Egypt since President Mohammed Mursi issued a sweeping decree on Thursday with which he assumed near-absolute powers, already today the Constitutent Assembly will begin to vote on the draft of a new Constitution. This acceleration risks aggravating the tensions in the country.

Confirmation that voting had begun, despite the withdrawal from the Assembly of around thirty representatives of numerous alignments who accuse the Islamists of monopolizing the debate, came from Assam al Erin, a counsellor of Mursi and a spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood party, a majority force in the Cairo Parliament which was dissolved, after the ruling of unconstitutionality of the electoral laws issued  by the Supreme Constitutional Court itself.

According to the draft presented to the media a few weeks ago, Egypt will adopt a semi-presidential system, similar to that of France, and territorial decentralization. However, the most sensitive aspects of the new document are not yet clear, international political analysts say, nor is the role that Islamic law will play in the future Egypt.

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St. Peter’s Square

Sept. 20, 2018

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