November 16, 2011 Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 762

Egyptian Deputy PM's Document of Constitutional Principles: An Attempt to Bolster Military Supremacy, Curb Islamists' Influence on Constitution

November 16, 2011 | By L. Azuri*
Egypt | Inquiry & Analysis Series No. 762


Egypt is currently witnessing an intense rivalry among various political forces regarding the character and future of the new Egyptian state. As part of this rivalry, different elements and individuals – political parties and movements, presidential candidates and public figures – have published documents presenting their vision of post-revolutionary Egypt, which are intended to form a basis for the new constitution. A previous series of MEMRI reports examined significant documents drafted by the Islamist camp: Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed By Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part I: The Al-Azhar Document,[1] Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed by Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part II: Muslim Brotherhood Prepares for Parliamentary, Presidential Elections,[2] and Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed by Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part III: Charter to Regulate Activity of Islamic Organizations, Movements in Egypt.[3] This report addresses the central document issued by the non-Islamist camp: the "Declaration of the Fundamental Principles for the New Egyptian State," authored by Egypt's deputy prime minister for political affairs, Dr. 'Ali Al-Silmi.[4]

Al-Silmi's document drew fire from the Islamist camp from the moment its existence was first reported, in August 2011. The Islamists' main claim was that in the March 2011 referendum, the Egyptian people had empowered the parliament – which is to be elected in late 2011 and early 2012 – to form the constitution drafting committee, and this committee alone had the authority to determine the principles of the constitution. Hence, the current government had no right to dictate the makeup of the committee or any principles regarding the content or orientation of the constitution. This argument was raised primarily by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis, who expect to gain a large representation in the new parliament, and thus to have considerable influence on the religious character of Egypt and on the status of the shari'a in the new constitution.

In terms of the document's content, the Islamists' main objection was to the definition of Egypt as a "civil state," which many of them perceive as incompatible with the implementation of shari'a law and as expressing an intention to exclude religion from the public sphere and to establish a secular state. The inclusion of this term in the August 2011 draft of Al-Silmi's document is the main factor differentiating it from the Al-Azhar document, which, unlike the Al-Silmi document, was accepted by broad sectors of Egyptian society, including the Muslim Brotherhood and some of the Salafis.

The debate around Al-Silmi's document flared up again in November 2011, after the deputy prime minister presented an updated draft to representatives of Egypt's political movements, with an eye to formulating an agreed-upon version and ratifying it as a binding document. (For excerpts from this version, see the appendix of this report). The Islamists reiterated their objection that only the next parliament is authorized to form the constitution drafting committee. They also pointed out that according to the updated version of Al-Silmi's document, 80% of the members of this committee will not be members of parliament at all, and therefore will not represent the people.

A point which enraged not only in the Islamist camp but the majority of political movements was the privileged status granted by the document to the armed forces. Article 9 of the updated version states that the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) is "solely responsible" for all matters concerning the armed forces and their budget, and for approving all legislation pertaining to its affairs. It also stipulates that the army's budget will "appear as a single figure in the annual state budget." Article 10 stipulates that a National Defense Council will be formed, chaired by the president, which will be in charge of protecting the state and its security.

In response to the harsh criticism, Al-Silmi promised to amend these controversial articles to the satisfaction of the public by removing the word "solely" from Article 9 and by placing the National Defense Council in charge of the armed forces' budget. He also promised to amend the proposed makeup of the constitution drafting committee by granting larger representation to women's organizations, Al-Azhar, and the Church, at the expense of public figures nominated by the government.[5]

These assurances satisfied most of the liberals, such as the Wafd and the Tagamu' parties.[6] Apparently, they are willing to support Al-Silmi and his document in order to thwart an Islamist takeover of the constitution, even at the cost of granting a privileged status to the military establishment. The Islamists, however, were not appeased by the promises, and announced they would organize mass demonstrations on November 18 to demand that the SCAF rescind the document, fire Al-Silmi, and set a timetable for transferring power to a civilian administration.[7]

The liberal-secular streams and Al-Silmi himself accused the Islamists, especially the Muslim Brotherhood, of exploiting the public debate over the document for purposes of election propaganda. They argued that with the exception of Articles 9 and 10 that deal with the army, the document does not differ substantially from the Al-Azhar document, which the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis signed, or from the document called "Fundamental Principles for the Constitution of the Modern Egyptian State," drafted by the Democratic Alliance for Egypt, to which the Muslim Brotherhood belongs.

Under the threat of a mass demonstration on November 18, Al-Silmi attempted to reach a compromise with the opponents to the document, but without success.

The following are excerpts from articles criticizing Al-Silmi's document, and from articles attacking its detractors.

Criticism of Al-Silmi's Document

1. The Status of the Armed Forces

The Document Threatens to Turn the Army into a State within a State

'Amr Hamzawi, a columnist for the daily Al-Shurouq and a co-founder of the new Free Egypt party, who was formerly a senior researcher at the Carnegie Foundation, wrote about Al-Silmi's document: "My first objection is to [Article 9]... which contravenes a principle fundamental to civil and democratic states, [namely] that the affairs of the state are handled by the legislative branch (the parliament) and the executive branch (the government), under the supervision of an independent judiciary branch, and that these three branches supervise all the state institutions, including the armed forces and the security apparatuses, and determine public policy for these institutions and in cooperation with them. Article 9 distances Egypt from the hope for a democratic civil state, and threatens to turn the armed forces into a state within a state. Article 9 in its [current] wording, as it was presented to me and to others at a consultation conference held by Dr. Al-Silmi, builds a wall around the armed forces, and prevents the elected civilian authorities, which represent the will of the people, from fulfilling their traditional democratic role of supervising the military establishment.

"Article 9 means that the affairs of the armed forces will not be debated in parliament, and that their budget will appear as a single figure in the state budget, which means that it will be reported but not debated; [moreover], the parliament will not have the authority to pass laws pertaining to the armed forces without the approval of the SCAF. All this contravenes accepted democratic norms. Article 9 is a catastrophe, and anyone who accepts it in the name of defending the civil state, as some parties and politicians have done, is [actually] harming the civil state and its principles. A civil state does not merely mean a state that is not religious. It also means a state that is not ruled by a military establishment that has the status of a state within a state..."[8]

The Excessive Powers Granted to the Army Will Render the Parliament Useless

'Ali 'Abd Al-Fattah, a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, wrote in an article posted on the movement's website: "We object to Dr. Al-Silmi's writing in Article 9 that the army is charged with protecting the 'constitutional legitimacy'... This means that the army will intervene in political life, [opposing] whatever it considers incompatible with the constitutional legitimacy. We tried the military model for 57 years, and got nothing but bitterness, coercion, loss of human dignity, a takeover of the homeland, and a series of defeats and downfalls. Mr. Al-Silmi - the army has nothing to do with politics. Its role is to defend the country's borders, and nothing else. Defending the constitutional legitimacy is the role of the people, which is aware and able to defend its revolution...

"What does it mean that the SCAF, and not the elected authorities, has the exclusive right to debate the items of the army's budget? It means that the elected People's Assembly is not authorized to inquire into the army's expenses. This limits [the Assembly's] role of supervision in a manner unprecedented throughout the world. It means that the People's Assembly and its members, who are the public's representatives, remain helpless, without any role or authority. It means that the army is an executive branch superseding the legislative branch, and this violates the balance among the branches [of government]...

"What does it mean, Mr. Al-Silmi, that the SCAF alone has the right to approve legislation pertaining to the armed forces? It means that the elected president and People's Assembly have no right to supervise the army or pass laws regarding it. In other words, the army is above supervision and above the law. It means [that we have] a useless People's Assembly without any value or role, i.e., a parliament like the one [that existed] in the pre-revolutionary era, which was nothing but [a collection] of MPs sitting on fancy chairs but possessing no authority whatsoever..."[9]

2. The Status of Islam and the Shari'a

The Salafis: Al-Silmi is Trying to Impose on the Constitution a Character Opposed to Islam and the Shari'a

In fact, the Islamists opposed Al-Silmi's document even before the addition of the article about the army's supremacy. Their original objection was to the definition of the role of religion in the state. Article 1 of Al-Silmi's document defines Egypt as a "civil state" – a term which the Islamists generally associate with secularism and opposition to shari'a. In an interview on Al-Arabiya, senior cleric Sheikh Farahat Mangi, a former supervisor of student delegations at Al-Azhar, pointed out that the Al-Azhar document does not contain the term "civil state," and argued that this is why it enjoys relatively broad support among the Islamists, unlike Al-Silmi's document.[10]

Mostly owing to Article 1, Al-Silmi's document has come to be associated with the liberal-secular sectors in Egypt. The Islamists see it as an attempt by the authorities to enshrine liberal and leftist principles in the constitution, and to prevent the Islamists from giving it an Islamic character by defining the shari'a as its source of authority. The spokesman of the Salafi Al-Nour party said that Al-Silmi's document was an attempt to give the secular stream exclusive control over the drafting of constitutional principles, and pointed out that Al-Silmi is affiliated with the Al-Wafd party, which recently left the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated coalition.[11]

In an article on the Muslim Brotherhood's website, the deputy chairman of the Salafi Al-Asala party, Mamdouh Isma'il, wrote: "Dr. 'Ali Al-Silmi, what are you trying to [accomplish] by dictating principles? Are you trying to impose a certain agenda on the people's constitution? This appears to be the case... but the people has already established its identity and agenda in the March 19 [referendum], and it will ratify [this agenda], Allah willing, in the 2011 parliamentary elections... Most of the Egyptians are Muslim, and the majority inclines in the direction [dictated by] its identity. You know, Dr. Al-Silmi, that it will also be inclined to favor a constitution that does not contravene its Islamic identity.

"Were the principles [of your document] forced upon you, so that you would force them on the people in order to prevent the next constitution [from having a different orientation]? If this is the case, please inform those who coerced you that nobody – neither you nor any other authority – can force the Egyptian people to [adopt] a constitution opposed to its Islamic identity and to the Islamic shari'a, which preserves and respects the rights of all people from all faiths..."[12]

In a document it issued, the Al-Nour party clarified that it is opposed not only to the term "civil state" in Al-Simli's document, but to several other points. First, regarding a clause in Article 2 stating that the principles of the Islamic shari'a are the primary sources of legislation, it demands to replace the word "principles," which it regards as vague and overly general, with the word "laws." The party also opposes the provision in Article 2 which grants non-Muslims the right to observe their own religious laws in matters of religion and personal status, on the grounds that this right is recognized by the shari'a and therefore does not need to be explicitly stated. In addition, it opposes the prohibition on establishing parties based on religious affiliation (Article 4), and the clause stipulating that the state guarantees freedom of belief and protects places of worship (Article 12). In reference to the clauses defining Egypt as part of Africa (Article 8) and of the Arab world (Article 1), Al-Nour demands to add that it is part of the Islamic world. It also rejects the provision stating that all citizens have the right to hold public office (Article 19), and demands to specify the religion of the president (i.e., that he must be a Muslim), claiming that such a stipulation exists in the constitutions of other countries in the world.[13]

The Liberals: The Salafis Are Trying to Impose Their Own Principles on the Constitution

The "National Association for Change," founded by presidential candidate and former IAEA secretary-general Mohamed ElBaradei, accused the Islamic streams of opposing the Al-Silmi document out of a desire to impose their own will, attain hegemony over the parliament, and appoint the constitution drafting committee according to their goals, which threaten Egypt's character as a civil state and the objectives of the revolution. The Association demanded to continue the dialogue over the document until a consensus is reached, and to ensure that no stream has an advantage in the constitution drafting committee.[14]

3. The Makeup of the Constitution Drafting Committee

Al-Silmi's document also addresses the makeup of the committee for drafting the constitution. This issue, too, aroused considerable criticism. The main complaint was that by means of this document, the SCAF is attempting to determine the committee's makeup, a task that belongs to the parliament, which represents the full range of sectors in Egyptian society. The former editor of the daily Al-Gumhouriyya, Muhammad Abu Al-Hadid, wrote in his weekly column: "The only body that has a legitimate right to draft the new constitution, in its entirety, is the drafting committee to be appointed by both houses of the elected parliament, i.e., the People's Assembly and the Shura Council. [This will ensure that the committee's] 100 members represent all the parties, and all the political and ideological forces and streams in society..."[15]

This criticism was voiced mainly by the Islamists, who claimed that Al-Silmi's document aimed to limit their weight in the constitution drafting committee, especially considering their anticipated success in the upcoming elections. Al-Gama'a Al-Islamiyya member Samir Al-'Arki, a columnist for the Islamic daily Al-Misriyyoun, wrote: "Al-Silmi's document, [meant to be] a compilation of binding guidelines for the drafters of the new constitution, [was written] out of fear that a certain stream (specifically the Islamists) will... win a majority in the [upcoming elections], and this will allow it to appoint the 100 members [of the drafting committee] from among its supporters, who will draft the constitution according to their own lights. That is why [Al-Silmi's] document includes principles that the secular elites (rather than the people) fear will be excluded from the new constitution..."[16]

Al-Silmi: The Document Ensures National Security; The Protest against It is Elections Propaganda

Egypt's interim government attempted to fight the Islamist campaign against Al-Silmi's document. A senior official in the prime minister's office told the daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm that while the liberal streams largely accepted Al-Silmi's document, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis were expressing reservations over some of its clauses in order to gain political capital. He accused that the Islamist stream operates in isolation from the liberal stream and does not believe in political cooperation, and urged the liberal parties to coordinate their positions in the elections – just as the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis coordinated their opposition to Al-Silmi's document – so as to ensure that the makeup of the new parliament will accurately represent the various sectors of Egyptian society.[17]

Later, Al-Silmi himself spoke out in defense of his document. In an article in the Egyptian government daily Al-Ahram, he directly attacked the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming that the principles presented in his document were in line with those presented in the Muslim Brotherhood's own constitutional document, i.e., the paper drafted by the Democratic Alliance, of which the Muslim Brotherhood is a member. An exception to this, he conceded, is Articles 9 and 10, addressing the role of the armed forces, but these would be amended. Al-Silmi noted that the Muslim Brotherhood had been present at every dialogue session for drafting the document, except for the last one, and added: "The masses have the right to know the truth about what is happening in the political arena vis-à-vis the constitutional principles [document]... and the criteria for appointing the members of the constitution drafting committee, so that the facts become clear, as well as the positions behind the shrill voices and threats [heard] at the mass demonstrations...

"The campaign against the document has been exploited by the parties for election purposes. The truth is that aside from Articles 9 and 10 – whose goal is to protect the security of the homeland by ensuring the safety of the armed forces and the confidentiality of the information in their hands – the document under discussion does not contain anything new that the [Muslim Brotherhood's] Freedom and Justice Party did not have a hand in drafting. Had it not boycotted the last consultation meeting, it could have expressed an opinion and participated in a positive manner alongside all the other citizens in shaping the future of all Egyptians."[18]

His remarks in defense of the document not withstanding, Al-Silmi attempted to appease the opponents of the document in order to prevent their demonstration against it, planned for November 18. He expressed a willingness to meet most of their demands regarding Articles 9 and 10 and the makeup of the constitution drafting committee. However, the Salafi parties and movements continue to oppose the document over the articles dealing with the status of religion in the state, and therefore remain committed to holding the demonstration in demand to rescind it.[19]

Appendix: Al-Silmi's Document of Constitutional Principles

The following are excerpts from a translation of Al-Silmi's "Declaration of the Fundamental Principles for the New Egyptian State" which was posted on the website[20]

"First: The Fundamental Principles

"(1) The Arab Republic of Egypt is a democratic civil state which is based on citizenship and on the rule of law. It respects pluralism and guarantees freedom, justice, equality and equal opportunity to all citizens without exception. The Egyptian people are a part of the Arab people, and will work to secure their full unity.

"(2) Islam is the religion of [the] state, and the Arab language is the official language of [the] state. The [principles of][21] Islamic shari'a [are] the primary source[s] of legislation. For non-Muslims, personal status and other religious matters are to be determined according to their own laws.

"(3) Sovereignty belongs to the people only, who are the source of all power. The people exercise sovereignty through referendums and fair elections, which are to be held under judicial supervision and in accordance with an electoral law that guarantees a just representation for the people, without exception or exclusion.

"(4) The state's political system is to be republican and democratic and is to be based on a balance between the powers of the state, on the peaceful transfer of power, and on a multi-party system – on the condition that such parties are not based on religion, race, a specific religious denomination, class, or on any type of principle that does not conform with the fundamental freedoms that are set out in this declaration.

"(5) The rule of law is the state's basis of government. All state authorities, public and private legal bodies, and all citizens are subject to all of its laws, without distinction. Judicial independence is an essential [principle] guaranteeing that the state and its institutions will be subject to the law and that all citizens will achieve justice.

"The higher judicial councils will be responsible for considering all judicial matters. Their approval must be sought for all bills that relate to [their] work before they come into effect.

"(6) The national economy is based on overall sustainable development, which must have as its objective [ensuring] social wellbeing, [meeting the] citizens' essential needs, encourage[ing] investment, protect[ing] free competition, prevent[ing] harmful monopolies, protect[ing] consumers and ensur[ing] the just distribution of the benefits of development to citizens. The state is committed to protect public ownership of national facilities and other resources as well as natural resources, lands, and its national heritage, whether material or moral.

"(7) The Nile is a lifeline for Egypt. The state is committed to improve its administration and protect [it] from pollution and other violations, to maximize its use and to protect Egypt's historical rights to the Nile.

"(8) Egypt is part of the African continent. It works [to promote] its renaissance and [the] cooperation between its peoples and the integration of its interests. Egypt is part of the Islamic world; it defends its causes and [promotes] the joint interests of its peoples. Egypt is proud of the role it has played... in human civilization and its positive contribution to promoting world peace and the principles of justice, human rights, and increased cooperation between nations and peoples.

"(9) The state alone shall establish armed forces, which are the property of the people, and [whose] mission [is] to protect the country, its security and its territorial integrity, and to defend constitutional legitimacy. It is not permissible for any body, organization or party to form military or paramilitary bodies.

"The Supreme Council for the Armed Forces is solely responsible for all matters concerning the armed forces, and for discussing its budget, which should be incorporated as a single figure in the annual state budget. The Supreme Council for the Armed Forces is also exclusively competent to approve all bills relating to the armed forces before they come into effect.

"The President of the Republic is the highest authority of the armed forces and the minister of defense is the general authority of the armed forces. The President of the Republic [is authorized to] declare war after the approval of the Supreme Council for the Armed Forces and of the People's Assembly has been obtained.

"(10) A National Defense Council [will be] established, presided over by the President of the Republic. It [will be] responsible for examining all matters relating to the country's security and safety. Its other responsibilities will be determined by law. The defense of the nation and its territory is a sacred obligation. Military draft is obligatory in accordance with the law. General mobilization is also regulated by law.

"Second: General rights and freedoms

"(11) Human dignity is an inherent right for all persons, and all Egyptian civilians are free and equal before the law and in terms of their general rights, their freedoms and their obligations. It is not permissible to discriminate against Egyptian civilians on the basis of sex, origin, language, religion, belief, wealth, social status, political belief, on the basis of a disability, etc. It is permissible to discriminate positively in favor of groups that are in need of protection.

"(12) The state guarantees [the] freedom of belief, ensures [the] freedom of worship and religious rites and

protects places of worship.

"(13) Egyptian nationality is an inherent right of all citizens, and it is not permissible to revoke [citizenship], or to expel any citizen from the country, or to prevent him from returning to it without a reasoned court order.

"(14) [The] freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of the press and other forms of media are guaranteed. Private life, the rights of others and of the various components that make up Egyptian society are inviolable. It is not permissible to censor the media or to monitor its sources without a reasoned court order that is limited in time.

"(15) All people have the right to access, exchange and disseminate information, to participate in cultural and artistic life in its various forms and in all its activities. The state guarantees academic freedom, the freedom to carry out scientific research and the freedom to engage in creativity and innovation. The state guarantees the independence of universities and of scientific research centers.

"(16) All people have the right to enjoy the sanctity of their private lives, including their communications, their telephonic and electronic conversations, as well as all other forms of communications. It is prohibited to violate, restrict or [impinge on] such sanctity without a reasoned court decision that is limited in time.

"(17) All citizens have the freedom of residence and of movement. No citizen can be arrested, searched, detained or imprisoned or to restrict his personal freedom without a prior court decision. There can be no crime or punishment except by law. The accused is innocent until his guilt is established in a just judicial process before a judge.

"(18) Private property is protected. It cannot be interfered with in the absence of a court order and without just compensation. Private and public property, as well as cooperatives, contribute to the national economic development.

"(19) The right to work is guaranteed. The state works to provide the opportunity to work to all citizens on fair terms and without discrimination. The state is committed to providing a minimum wage that guarantees citizens a decent and dignified standard of living. All citizens have the right to hold public office, assuming they meet whatever conditions must be satisfied.

"(20) All citizens have the right to safety, and to a clean environment free from pollution, adequate nutrition, housing, health care and exercise. All citizens have the right to insurance against unemployment, disease, disability and old age in accordance with the requirements of justice and social solidarity.

"(21) Every citizen has the right to education. The State is committed to providing free educational opportunities [via] its educational institutions, and works to ensure that such educational opportunities be of good quality, in order to maximize the investment in human capital. Basic education is compulsory. The State oversees all state and private educational institutions. It ensures that the sense of belonging, national identity and culture are [cultivated].

"(22) Citizens have the right to form trade unions and federations, associations and NGOs. They have the right to peaceful assembly and demonstration, without prejudice to the rights of others or to the fundamental principles and rights that are set out in this Declaration.

"Criteria for the formation of the Constituent Assembly to develop a new constitution for the country

"(1) A Constituent Assembly that will be charged with drafting the Constitution of Egypt will be formed as follows:

"Eighty members, who are not members of the People's Assembly and of the Shura Council, and who represent all segments of Egyptian society including political forces, political parties, trade unions, professional and religious groups will be selected as follows:

"15 members will be selected from judicial bodies (4 from the Constitutional Court, 4 from the Court of Cassation, 3 from the Council of State, 2 from the State Litigation Authority, and 2 from Administrative Prosecutor's Office), all of whom are to be nominated by public associations.

"15 members will be university professors, of which at least 5 will be constitutional law professors. All such members will be nominated by the Supreme Council of Universities.

"15 members will represent professional trade unions. All such members will be chosen in a joint meeting of these unions' councils.

"5 members will represent labor unions. They will be nominated by the trade unions.

"5 members will represent farmers, and will be nominated by their unions.

"5 members will represent the Federation of NGOs (who should include a representative of people with special needs).

"1 member will represent the Union of Chambers of Commerce.

"1 member will represent the Federation of Industries.

"1 member will represent business associations.

"1 member will represent the National Council for Human Rights.

"1 member will represent the armed forces.

"1 member will represent the police.

"1 member will represent the sports federations.

"1 member will represent the federations of university students.

"1 member will represent the Al-Azhar.

"1 member will represent the Egyptian churches.

"1 member will be a public figure nominated by the Council of Ministers.

"The authorities referred to above will nominate twice as many candidates as the numbers indicated above, in order to choose from among them.

"The remaining members will be chosen from among the representatives of parties and independents, according to the proportion represented by the People's Assembly and Shura Council. A maximum of five members and a minimum of at least one member will be chosen on this basis.

"The members of the Constituent Assembly must include at least ten women and at least five members under the age of 35.

"(2) If the draft constitution prepared by the Constituent Assembly includes one or more provisions that are contrary to the basic tenets of the state and of Egyptian society, to the rights and public freedoms which have been provided for in successive Egyptian constitutions, including the constitutional declaration issued on March 30, 2011 and the constitutional declarations that were issued since [then], the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, given that it holds the powers of President of the Republic during the transitional phase, will require the Constituent Assembly to reconsider such provisions within a maximum period of fifteen days. If the Assembly does [agree] to do so, the Council will present the matter to the Supreme Constitutional Court, which will issue a decision on the matter within seven days from the date of submission. The decision issued by the Supreme Constitutional Court shall be binding on all parties and on all state authorities.

"(3) If the Constituent Assembly does not complete the draft constitution during the six months stipulated in the Constitutional Declaration, for whatever reason, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces – given that it holds the powers of the President of the Republic – will form a new Constituent Assembly, in accordance with the standards that have been agreed upon, [which will] prepare a new draft constitution within three months of its formation. It will present the draft to the people with a view to carrying out a referendum within fifteen days from the date this draft is completed."

* L. Azuri is a research fellow at MEMRI.


[1] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 734, "Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed By Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part I: The Al-Azhar Document," September 6, 2011, Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed By Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part I: The Al-Azhar Document.

[2] See MEMRI Inquiry & Analysis Series Report No. 735, "Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed By Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part II: Muslim Brotherhood Prepares for Parliamentary, Presidential Elections," October 25, 2011, Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed by Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part II: Muslim Brotherhood Prepares for Parliamentary, Presidential Elections.

[3] See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4240, "Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed By Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part III: Charter to Regulate Activity of Islamic Organizations, Movements in Egypt," November 1, 2011, Egypt's Islamic Camp, Once Suppressed by Regime, Now Taking Part in Shaping New Egypt – Part III: Charter to Regulate Activity of Islamic Organizations, Movements in Egypt.

[4] Al-Silmi (age 75) was deputy chairman of the secular Al-Wafd party, which elected him prime minister of the shadow government it established in 2010, under Mubarak. He served as minister of state for administrative development from 1977-1978 and state minister for inspection and follow-up from 1978-1979. He holds a PhD in business administration from Indiana University.

[5] Al-Ahram (Egypt), Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), November 4, 2011.

[6] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 6, 2011; Al-Shurouq (Egypt), November 9, 2011.

[7] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 6, 2011.

[8] Al-Shurouq (Egypt), November 4, 2011.

[9], November 3, 2011.

[10], August 18, 2011.

[11] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), November 4, 2011.

[12], November 1, 2011.

[13] Al-Yawm Al-Sabi' (Egypt), November 13, 2011.

[14] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), November 6, 2011.

[15] Al-Gumhouriyya (Egypt), November 10, 2011.

[16] Al-Misriyyoun (Egypt), November 10, 2011.

[17] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), November 8, 2011.

[18] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 9, 2011.

[19] Al-Ahram (Egypt), November 16, 2011.

[21] The word "principles" is missing from the translation quoted here, but exists in the Arabic original.

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