Protesters Rally Against Islamists Dominating Constituent Assembly

About 200 protested outside Egypt’s High Court on Friday against the Islamists’ domination of the Constituent Assembly tasked with drafting the new constitution.

Protesters chanted slogans against the Muslim Brotherhood, whose political arm the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) has a majority in the People’s Assembly and Shoura Council, followed by the Salafi Al-Nour Party.

“There are two you can’t trust … the military and the Brotherhood,” chanted protesters. “No to the military and the Brotherhood.”

Both the upper and lower houses of parliament are expected to meet on Saturday to elect the 100 members of the Constituent Assembly.

Fifty percent of the Constituent Assembly is allocated to MPs, leaving the other half to the different factions of Egyptian society including representatives of syndicates and institutions as well as public figures.

“This way the Muslim Brotherhood will draft a constitution that serves them and their best interests rather than the people,” Nariman Mohamed, 23, told Daily News Egypt.

Karim El-Torky, member of the April 6 Democratic Front, said, “Although I am a Muslim, I don’t want the Constituent Assembly to be dominated by Islamists.”

“The constitution should be written by all Egypt’s factions, Muslims and Copts,” he added.

FJP and Al-Nour leaders have repeatedly said the Assembly will be representative of all of Egypt’s factions.

Others argued that the Assembly should not include any MPs because they could sway the new constitution to give the parliament absolute power.

Around 24 political parties and movements including April 6 Youth Movement, the National Association for Change, the Revolutionary Socialists and the Kefaya opposition movement said in a statement that they would start a series of protests and marches on Friday starting with one in front of the High Court.

The marches and protests are to continue until April 24, under the title of “the month of saving Egypt,” to reject the Islamists’ dominance over the Constituent Assembly.

On Saturday, another protest will be held in front of the Cairo International Conference Center (CICC), during the joint meeting of the upper and lower houses of parliament to elect the Assembly members.