Constitutional turmoil continues


The Egyptian Parliament looked set to agree on the make-up of the Constitutional Assembly which will be responsible for establishing a new constitution.

Although the major parties have agreed a make-up which allows for a 50-50 split between Islamists and secular liberals, there are still legislators who are saying that women and Christians are under-represented. As a result several legislators have pledged to challenge the new list in the courts.

The continuing uncertainty over the agreement of the constitutional body means that the new president, due to be elected this weekend, is unlikely to be clear as to his powers.

In other news, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) led government has, in effect, re-imposed martial law on the country ahead of the elections on Saturday and Sunday. The move has created a fresh round of protests by liberals who are saying that the military are reverting back to Mubarak era controls on the people.

Elsewhere, the date of this weekend’s election is now in some doubt because the Supreme Constitutional Court is expected to announce its ruling on the legitimacy of one of the two second round presidential candidates, Ahmed Shafiq. If his name is rejected then the court might decide that the first round should be invalidated and they might call for a re-run of the election.

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