Draft constitution is one of the best in Egypt’s history: Bishop Paula

Bishop Paula, representative of the Orthodox Church from the 50-member constitutional committee, said that the draft constitution is one of the best in the history of Egypt.
“Voting yes to the constitution is not a goal. We have to convince people first that this constitution is one of the best,” he said.
Paula added at a seminar for the National Council for Women in Gharbia Governorate, on Wednesday evening: “The article on equality between men and women took us a long time. Women will gain in this constitution what they have never even dreamt of. Virtuous women who took part in creating its articles obtained great rights for women.”
“It is enough to say the best articles of the constitution are included in the chapter on freedoms,” he added.
Gharbiya governor Major General Mohamed Naeem praised during his speech the role of women in society and on the political arena.
The constitution has nonetheless stirred controversy due to two particular issues: enshrining the strength of the military and allowing military trials for civilians.
The Strong Egypt Party, led by Abdel Moniem Abou el Fotouh, as well as the April 6 Youth Movement, led by Ahmed Maher, have both come out against the constitution and are urging Egyptians for a “no” vote. They are concerned about the article which requires the approval of the army before dismissing the defense minister, as well as allowing military trials for civilians if they are determined to be a threat to the army.
The groups also criticized the new constitution for giving the president strong powers to dissolve parliament after a referendum.

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