Wafd: Parties agree to allocate half of Constituent Assembly to FJP, Nour

Parties have agreed to allow the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party and the Salafi-oriented Nour Party to hold 50 percent of the constitution-writing committee’s seats, Wafd Party chief Al-Sayed al-Badawy has said.

The seats of parties that withdraw from the Constituent Assembly would be redistributed if they officially announce their refusal to participate, Badawy said at a press conference Sunday after a meeting for political groups.

Other civil groups are represented by the remaining 50 percent of seats, Badawy said, adding that Al-Azhar, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the judiciary were classified as civil.

The Tagammu, Free Egyptians and Democratic Egyptian parties each rejected the categorization of Al-Azhar, the moderate Islamist Wasat Party and the judiciary as civil forces for the assembly’s makeup.

Six seats would be redistributed if representatives of the Karama and Socialist Popular Alliance parties officially withdraw from the assembly in rejection of religious parties’ number of seats, Badawy said.

He said the political groups would meet Monday to make a final decision about redistributing the six seats between women and Copts.

FJP member Osama Yassin said the party hopes those that withdrew would return to the assembly, adding that they had reached a semi-final decision about its makeup.

A court ruling had previously dissolved the original formation of the Constituent Assembly, saying it was not representative of all Egyptians because it was dominated by Islamists, after secularist members withdrew. But after another round of negotiations on the makeup, the issue appeared to be solved when the ruling generals and political parties agreed that Islamists would hold half of the assembly seats.

MP Emad Gad of the liberal Free Egyptians Party said his group and others met Sunday to discuss their nominees for Tuesday's panel selection when the new dispute arose.

"We were talking about the division of seats between secular and Islamists as 50–50. Then we were surprised to find that all 50 were just for the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis," he told The Associated Press.

A source close to the political parties' meeting told the privately owned Al-Shorouk newspaper that the ruling military council insists on allocating three seats to the 10 parties affiliated to the disbanded National Democratic Party. The parties include the Union, Egyptian Citizen, Freedom, Egypt National and Arab-Egyptian Union parties.

The source added that Ghad al-Thawra Party chief Ayman Nour is currently talking with the 10 parties to agree on their representatives.

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