ON THE POLITICS OF CONSTITUTION BUILDING IN EGYPT
Egypt's beleaguered Constituent Assembly (CA) moves closer to completing the long-awaited draft constitution. The 100-strong panel, which was picked in June, is headed by senior judge Hossam el-Gheriany. Its constitutionality is currently being examined by a court. The CA has been harshly criticized for its large proportion of Islamist-leaning members and for its exclusion of Copts, women, Nubians, Bedouins and other minorities. They accuse the CA of throwing away the economic and social rights of Egyptians. Last June, a number of liberal members and representatives of non-religious parties initiated a mass walkout to protest what they saw as the assembly's unrepresentative character. Their stated reason for resigning from the assembly was to allow greater representation for women, young people and Coptic Christians, while also registering their objection to perceived "Islamist monopolization" of the constitution-writing committee.