» 06/13/2012, 00.00
New 100-member constituent assembly announced
The first assembly was dissolved on 10 April because it was under too much Islamist influence (Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis). The new assembly will have only 39 parliamentarians compared to 60 in the previous one. Delegates from al-Azhar and Christian denominations will also be present. The first session is set for the end of the week.
Cairo (AsiaNews/ Agencies) - Egypt's parliament
announced the names of the 100-member constituent assembly whose task is to
write the country's new constitution more than a year after the fall of President
Hosni Mubarak. The first assembly was dissolved last April because its membership
was too skewed towards Islamist movements (Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis), who
have been accused of trying to monopolise political life. At that time,
Islamists had used their parliamentary majority to appoint 60 lawmakers and
ideologues from the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis.
The new body will include 39 parliamentarians, mostly
Islamists but also seven young women who took part in the Jasmine revolution;
five Islamic scholars from al-Azhar Universities and other Islamic institutions;
four delegates representing Christian denominations, 13 representatives of
trade unions; 21 important businessmen; and 19 legal experts and law
professors. The liberal nationalist Wafd party was excluded because in the
recent elections it called on voters to boycott the poll by spoiling their
People's Assembly (lower house) Speaker Saad
al-Katatny announced that the new assembly would hold its first session at the
end of the week.
Under new regulations approved recently by parliament
and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, constitutional proposals need a 67
per cent majority to be adopted by the assembly, a requirement that should
limit the influence of Islamist parties. The latter however may still seek
votes among non-political members whose names and orientation have not yet been
Meanwhile, Egyptians are preparing to head for the
runoff in the presidential election next Saturday and Sunday. They will have to
choose between Ahmed Shafiq, a former prime Minister under Mubarak backed by
supporters of the former regime and the military, and Mohamed Morsy, leader of
the Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood, who
is supported by Salafis and other Islamist movements.
Many of the young Egyptians who took part in the 'Arab
spring' said that they did not feel represented by either candidate and so will
Al-Azhar and Copts against Egypt's Islamisation
Both pull their representatives from the constituent assembly dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists. A spokesman for the Catholic Church warns that Islamist parties have adopted phony moderate positions. The Brotherhood's party, Freedom and Justice, announces the name of its candidate for the presidential election.
Egypt's new constitution protects religious freedom, but gives too much power to the military
Released yesterday, the draft proposal ostensibly respects human rights, freedom of religion and freedom of worship. Quotas will be set for Christians, women, the disabled and other groups, but no percentage is given. Controversy surrounds the excessive powers given to the army and the interim government. Fr Greich Rafiq, spokesman for the Catholic Church, wonders whether the new constitution was "drafted in order to please everyone, or will it be used as an effective legislative tool that can change the country."
Secular activists against Egypt's new "authoritarian" law on demonstrations
The controversial law on "unauthorised" protests claims its first victim. Alaa Abdul Fattah, a leading figure in the demonstrations against Mubarak and the Islamists, is arrested. In the Constituent Assembly, Christian Churches and al-Azhar win the battle against Salafis over Sharia.
Egyptian court thwarts Islamism in constituent assembly
Unconstitutional body does not represent the Egyptian people. For the spokesman of the Catholic Church in Egypt, the ruling is a sign of hope for Egypt's justice system in a deadlocked country. Next June's presidential elections are in jeopardy.
Blitz of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists: Sharia is the main source of law
Art. 2 of the new constitution voted in record time, it subordinates the law to the exact dictates of the dictates of the Koran. The House voted despite the boycott of the liberal parties, the Coptic Orthodox Church and other realities of civil society. The session was attended by only 85 members out of 100.
Card. Tong’s article on China-Holy See dialogue, arouses joy and dismay
The Hong Kong bishop’s optimism over a change in the method of appointing bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal, in words. Underground bishops are patriotic and love their country, but the Party is suspicious of them. Freedom in episcopal appointments is “essential", but the bishops are not free to exercise their ministry. Patriotic bishops controlled in their visits with members of the universal Church. The "bugs" (hidden microphones) in a bishop’s office.
Card. Tong: The future of Sino-Vatican dialogue from an ecclesiological point of view
Card. John Tong
The Hong Kong Cardinal outlines the steps that hope to propel dialogue between China and the Holy See. Themes include the Pope's role in the appointment of bishops; A change of vision in the Patriotic Association; the possible integration of the underground bishops in the Episcopal Conference. A new article by card. John Tong, following a previous article published a few months ago on "Communion of the Church in China with the universal Church."
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