Political forces greet Constitutional Declaration with mixed reactions

The interim Constitutional Declaration issued by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces on Wednesday has provoked a wide range of reactions from political forces and parties, with some expressing approval and others calling it a "catastrophe."

Among those criticizing the interim constitution was the 25 January Revolution Youth Coalition, which declared that it failed to represent the basis of a truly democratic state. Wafd Party Vice President Ali al-Selmy echoed this sentiment. “It does not say whether the political system of the country is presidential or parliamentary,” he said.

“It does not explain how elections should be held," said Al-Salam Party President Ahmed al-Fadaly, who argued that the form of government outlined by the declaration is vague.

The rules governing parliament’s make-up came in for particular criticism, with several voices condemning the system of quotas and presidential appointments.

“Article 32, which allows the president to appoint ten people in parliament, is a fiendish gateway that will bring back another dictator,” said Abdel Moneim al-Mashat, former director of Cairo University’s Strategic Studies Center.

Former MP Mohamed al-Omda, meanwhile, called for canceling the women’s representation quota in parliament, as well as the 50 percent quotas for workers and farmers.

“It’s a catastrophe,” said former MP Taher Hozayen. “The 50 percent representations are unheard of anywhere else in the world.”

There were, however, a few positive reactions. The Muslim Brotherhood agreed with Hozayen and al-Omda on the issue of parliament quotas, but approved of the constitution in general.

For her part, Norhan al-Sheikh, director of Cairo University’s US Studies Center, approved of the Constitutional Declaration. “It determines freedoms in a clear and transparent way,” she said.

Tarek al-Malt, speaker of Al-Wasat Party, also gave his approval. “It meets the aspirations of the people,” he said.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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