The head of Egypt’s constitution committee, Amr Moussa, has said the charter will not protect specific individuals, but will define the status of the country’s institutions.
Controversy was sparked when the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Rasd news outlet published a purported conversation between army chief Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Yasser Rizk, editor-in-chief of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper. During the recording a voice, allegedly belonging to El-Sisi, said he wanted his position as defence minister safeguarded in the constitution.
“You should lead a campaign with other intellectuals for the constitution to include an article giving immunity to Lieutenant-General El-Sisi’s position as defence minister and allowing him to keep that position even if he doesn’t enter the presidency,” the voice said to Rizk.
The controversy comes at a time of heightened speculation about a possible presidential bid by El-Sisi.
Moussa told Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai on Wednesday that his 50-member committee focuses on institutions rather than individuals.
He said he expects the initial draft charter to be ready for discussion after Eid Al-Adha, early next week.
The Muslim Brotherhood opposes Egypt’s interim government and says the army, led by El-Sisi, staged a coup against the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, when it deposed him in July amid mass protests against his rule.
Following Morsi’s ouster, the 2012 constitution was temporarily suspended. A referendum is expected to take place on an amended charter by the end of 2013, paving the way for parliamentary and presidential elections next year.
Source : Ahram