Tasked with amending the 2012 Constitution
Established: September 1 2013
The 50-member committee was established on Sept. 1, in the aftermath of the events of June 30, to amend the constitution drafted by the Constituent Assembly under the reign of former President Mohamed Morsi in 2012.
The committee was formed with the primary task of amending contested articles of the 2012 constitution and formulating new ones, as well as liaising with the 10-member Committee of Experts which drew up the initial amendment suggestions.
The 50-member committee was headed by Amr Moussa, former Secretary General of the Arab League, and the committee’s speaker was Mohamed Salmawy. There were four subcommittees, concerned with basic principles, system of governance, rights and freedoms, and social dialogue, respectively.
Throughout the drafting process, there was constant controversy over Article 2, which defines the nature of the Egyptian state, and other articles pertaining to the Islamic identity of the state. Salafist representatives, such as Nour Party representative Nader Bakar, were particularly determined to keep such articles.
Six accusations were filed against the committee, claiming that its formation was in violation of the Constitutional Declaration of July 8, 2013, which stated that the committee must represent all social organizations and nominate all its officials. Nevertheless, the committee was permitted to complete its work, and on Dec. 3 it submitted the amended constitution to the interim president.
The referendum on the draft constitution, which contains a number of contentious aspects such as the banning of religious parties and the possibility for civilians to be tried in military courts, is scheduled for Jan 14-15.